And This Too Shall Pass – Two Stories and One Poem
And this too shall pass has brought comfort, hope and humility to millions of people for some time now. This simple phrase, “And this too shall pass” has shown up in tattoos, rings, posters, and wall plaques. You name it and it might just well be on it.
Sometimes it‘s phrased, “This shall past too.” or shortened like, “This too shall pass.”
But however you say it, this simple sentence may help you on your journey in life.
I‘ve read two variations of the original parable for And this too shall pass.
Both of them are beautiful.
And This Too Shall Pass
Version 1 (Adapted and re-written by Ian Paul Marshall)
Long ago there was an Eastern Monarch who was troubled with many worries, harassed on all sides, so he called to him the wisest men in his counsel.
He asked them to create a motto, a few simple and magic words, that could help him in times of trouble and distress.
“It must be brief enough to be engraved on my ring.” he said.
That way he could have it close to him at all times.
The monarch lowered his gaze so that these men could not be shaken by the worry that plagued their ruler. He spoke, his words desperately trying to convey a courage that he hoped he would soon reclaim, “It must be appropriate in every situation, equally as useful in prosperity and adversity. It must be a motto wise and true. Something to last to the end of time. Simple words that any man, woman or child can be guided by their whole lives. In every circumstance, no matter what may happen”
For several days these wise men too to their task. They loved the monarch and it tore at their hearts to see him bear such a heavy sorrow.
Finally they emerged from their chambers and came to the Monarch with their magic words.
“These words shall comfort and give rise to wisdom for every change or or chance that life can take,” declared the wise men.
“Words that will fit every situation, good or bad, and our perceptions that cloud both extremes. Words to ease the heavy heart and tortured mind in every circumstance.”
And the words they gave the monarch to engrave of his cherished ring were:
And this too shall pass away.
And This Too Shall Pass
One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah Ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, “Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it.”
“If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied Benaiah, “I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?”
“It has magic powers,” answered the king. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy.”
Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility.
Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring.
On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day’s wares on a shabby carpet.
“Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?” asked Benaiah.
He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it.
When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.
That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. “Well, my friend,” said Solomon, “have you found what I sent you after?”
All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled.
To everyone’s surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, “Here it is, your majesty!”
As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face.
The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: gimel, zayin, yud, which began the words “Gam zeh ya’avor” — “This too shall pass.”
At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.
This Too, Shall Pass Away
by Paul Hamilton Hayne, American editor, writer, poet.
“Art thou in misery, brother? Then I pray
Be comforted. Thy grief shall pass away.
Art thou elated? Ah, be not too gay;
Temper thy joy: this, too, shall pass away.
Art thou in danger? Still let reason sway,
And cling to hope: this, too, shall pass away.
Tempted art thou? In all thine anguish lay
One truth to heart: this, too, shall pass away.
Do rays of loftier glory round thee play?
Kinglike art thou? This, too, shall pass away!
Whate’er thou art, wher’er thy footsteps stray,
Heed these wise words: This, too, shall pass away.”
Another sort of related quote that I love along the same lines of And this too shall pass is one by Gandhi.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.” – Gandhi