There’s an old Jewish tale about an poor man who went to see his Rabbi to ask for advice.
“Rabbi, I need you advice,” he begun, “I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this.”
“What’s wrong?” asked the Rabbi, who knew that this man had a big family and everyone there were in good health.
“My house is so crowded. The boys are running around, the girls are helping with the babies, but the place is so crowded and I can’t find peace of mind. I’m tired from working so hard and now my home is simply impossible. And my wife is now pregnant again!”
“You must get a goat and bring it into your house,” said the Rabbi.
“What?!” the man said, thinking he must have heard wrong.
“Yes, go get a goat and bring it into the house for two weeks, then come see me again.”
After two weeks the man came to see the Rabbi, his back bent over and dark circles around his eyes.
“How’s it going now?” asked the Rabbi.
“It’s terrible. I thought my house was crowded before, but now it’s REALLY impossible! The goat is chewing on everything, it goes to the bathroom inside and it makes the house stink. My wife has to work even harder so she has even less patience for me. Why did you tell me to do that?”
“I understand,” said the Rabbi. “Now, put the goat out of the house and come see me in a week.”
A week later the man went back to the Rabbi. He was smiling and happy when he came into the Rabbi’s office.
“How’s it going?” asked the Rabbi.
“My life is perfect – now that I got the goat out of the house. There’s so much space. The house doesn’t smell anymore and my wife is happy again. Thank you for your good advice Rabbi.”