One morning, a small dewdrop rested on a wild rose petal growing beside a river. The sun shone upon it, making the dewdrop sparkle like a diamond. A passing lady stopped to admire its beauty.
“It is the most beautiful thing in the world,” she remarked. “Look at all the colors in that tiny drop. Isn’t it amazing?”
“Amazing,” repeated the dewdrop after the lady had left. “If only I were like the river, then I would be amazing. It’s just too bad. I’m stuck here while the river can flow and see all the sights. It bubbles and babbles as it goes, and that’s worthwhile. I’ve never had the chance to be amazing. Oh, if only I were in the river water, then maybe I would be something.”
At that moment, a gentle breeze heard the little dewdrop’s wish.
“Your wish will come true, foolish dewdrop,” she said, softly blowing on the rose, causing it to sway, and off went the little dewdrop into the flowing river.
“So this is what it’s like to be a part of this river,” said the dewdrop as it mingled its tiny drop with the flowing water. “Now I’m worthy of admiration and can see something of the world.”
The dewdrop went further and further with the river water, but after a while, it was no longer a dewdrop, it was a part of the river.
“I wish I could stop for just a moment so that someone could admire me,” said the foolish little dewdrop, thinking it was still visible and chattering away, but only the sound of the flowing river was audible.
But no one admired it, and it didn’t stop either. The river kept on going to a bigger river, and gradually, it reached the bay, and the dewdrop rolled into it, mixing with the other water.
“Now I must be bigger than ever and worthy of admiration,” thought the dewdrop, but it heard no sweet words like the lady spoke about the little dewdrop on the rose by the river.
The bay eventually mixed with the ocean, and the little dewdrop finally knew it was no longer something to be admired alone, it had become a part of the great ocean. It was completely lost in the expanse of the mighty waters of which it was just a drop. Then the gentle breeze came along again and called out, “Where are you, where are you, little dewdrop?” But the dewdrop never answered. It didn’t even hear the gentle voice of the breeze, so loud was the roar of the ocean.
“Go away, you,” the harsh wind shouted at the gentle breeze. “This is no place for you. I must blow here and make the waves high, and you will never find your little dewdrop. It was swallowed up by the ocean a long time ago. Go back to your river and tell the other dewdrops the fate of their companion.”
The gentle breeze went away, and the harsh wind raged over the ocean, making the waves high, and the roar louder and louder. The little dewdrop was somewhere in the vastness of it all, but it was lost forever in its desire to be big. The gentle breeze went back to the river, and as she sighed around the rose where the dissatisfied dewdrop had rested, she heard another drop say:
“Look at the river. Isn’t it big? Here I am, just a dewdrop, so small that no one can see me.”
“Ah, you’re mistaken, my graceful dewdrop,” said the gentle breeze. “At least you can be seen now, but if you were to become a part of the river, you would never be seen. You would lose your identity as soon as you merged with the water of the river. Be your own lovely self and be content with the role you play in this world. You help make it more beautiful with your own graceful beauty. Don’t pursue what only appears bigger.”
And then she told the fate of the dissatisfied dewdrop who had wanted to become great and how he was ultimately swallowed up by his own grandeur, and how his graceful beauty, which was so admired, no longer existed.
“Be content with the small but beautiful role you play in this world,” said the gentle breeze to the dewdrop, “and do not long for a grandeur that may lead to your misfortune.”