Once upon a time, Jack decided to leave his tiny village and seek his fortune in the Big City, twenty leagues away.
Jack departed in good spirits, but it was a long road, and a tiring one. Finally, he asked a farmer in his field how much farther the Big City still lay."
"Ten leagues, young lad," the farmer replied, leaning on his plough.
"Ten leagues," cried Jack, "Ten leagues! But I have come so far already—and I can go no farther."
And with that, he turned around and returned home to his tiny village, discouraged and exhausted.
A year and a day passed, and again, Jack decided it was time to seek his fortune in the Big City once more. Again, ten leagues along the road, he saw the same farmer in his field, but this time, he fought past his fatigue and despair and pressed on.
Finally, he rested, leaning against a sign by the side of the road. He ate the bread and cheese he'd packed, and felt refreshed and full of vigor—until he looked up and read the sign.
Big City, it read, Five Leagues.
"Five leagues," cried Jack, "Five leagues! But I have come so far already—and I can go no farther."
And with that, he turned around and returned home to his tiny village, five leagues behind him and ten more, never to venture into the Wide World again.
This is a parable.