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Once on a modern time, Barnum lived a dull life. It had been an average life. He'd had no real problems, but no excitement either. He completed a degree in business. He worked for an insurance company and made enough money to live his average life.
Mostly, Barnum felt a need for romance. He had felt that way since he was in his teens. He'd had his share of dates during this time, but usually they involved dating a woman one time. They simply didn't find him interesting enough to see him again.
That is until he met Lola. Lola was the type of woman who never before had given Barnum a second look, much less a second date. Lola wasn't gorgeous but she was vivacious. She was full of energy and when she looked at a man, the man was happy. She looked at Barnum and his heart raced.
Barnum didn't know what Lola saw in him. All he knew was that when he was with her, all he could think about was wedding bells and white picket fences. When he wasn't with her, all he could think about was the next time he would see her.
Soon they were seeing each other every weekend. Barnum took her to the finest restaurants, the latest shows, the best clubs. It was so exciting. His life was no longer dull. Still, it was not the life he wanted. He wanted to marry Lola.
Anytime Barnum would approach anything close to the subject of marriage, Lola would redirect the conversation. However, on a moon-lit night, Barnum was able to put the question before her.
She recoiled with a laugh, "Barnum, don't be silly. You know we're not serious. My real fellow is a ball player. He's away a lot, with training and games and all. When he makes it to the big leagues, he'll send for me. Until then, we'll just have fun, okay?"
Barnum could not get past the hurt he felt. He felt so used. As much as he wished he could, he knew he could never see Lola again.
Of course, Barnum's mood affected his work. No one liked seeing a salesman anyway, much less when he is in a bad mood. Then, into his office came one of his clients that he had never met. She had bought her policy from his predecessor. She had been in a minor accident. Her policy listed her as Faith Moon.
He processed her claim with his current lethargy. She asked him what was bothering him, and he, without understanding exactly why, told this complete stranger all about Lola and his broken heart. She listened to his story with no reaction save in her face, but Barnum knew she was understanding him. When he finished, she said.
She did you wrong,
But you do yourself worse.
You dwell on that which can't be changed.
What you can't change, accept.
Some path besides the one of sorrow, you must walk.
You know the story about the boy without any shoes.
You have shoes and yet you don't walk.
You need to build a dam,
A watering spot to provide
For others' needs just to fulfil.
Companionship will then come to your side.
And, seek your mate among those most like you.
But look not first for that soul mate.
Help those without shoes and without any hope.
When you lose your sorrow in helping others reach their goal,
You goal will be very close at hand.
First, Barnum sought to heed Mother Moon's advice by delivering meals to the shut-in. His mood improved immediately. A fellow volunteer told him that his help was really needed in working with area youth, especially those interested in business. He found that involvement most fulfilling.
It was in working with this youth business club that he met Bailey. Soon, Barnum saw how much like him she was. To his surprise, she was also attracted to him. They were married in the spring and lived happily ever after.