If you have an apple, and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple.
But if you have an idea, and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
— George Bernard Shaw
After the tumble, Jack and Jill, slightly bruised, walked into Land of Regret, the local tavern. They ordered a couple of beers and tried deconstructing the events of the day.
“I wish I’d had more faith,” said Jack. “I didn’t try hard enough. When I came across that billy goat statue, I thought it was real, ran, tripped, and now… look at my crown!”
“I wish I’d had more faith, too,” echoed Jill. “I tried too hard. I didn’t think we’d make it up on our own, so I bought this sonar-guided navigation system, didn’t know how to operate it, and while trying to hold onto everything, dropped the pail and started started rolling down the hill with it.”
The bartender returned with their drinks. His demeanor was quiet, calm. “I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation,” he said. “Were you talking about the well on the top of the hill? Why didn’t you just take the stairs?”
One might be tempted to equate a lack of faith with not trying hard enough, but it is also reflected in the equally pernicious vice of trying too hard. Faith is that quiet confidence that enables us to relax enough to devote just the right amount of effort to see if there’s a path up the hill.