Can O’ Beans and Dirty Sock were sitting by the side of the road.
Can O’ Beans was lounging in the sun. Dirty Sock, as usual, was hard at work, tinkering away on some job Can O’ Beans knew nothing about.
Can O’ Beans rolled his way over to Dirty Sock, lifted his lid and asked:
“Yea Can O’ Beans,” Sock said without looking up from his work.
“Why are you always working so hard?”
Dirty Sock looked at Can and put down the tool he was holding. He wiped his hem, let out a long sigh, and plopped down next to the rusty Can.
Dirty Sock pointed across the way and asked “Can, do you see them cactus fields down there?”
Can O’ Beans looked up and nodded his rusty lid.
“I grew up in them cactus fields. And when I moved here to the sitty, all the sitty fokes would point at me and say ‘Ur just an Old Dirty Sock from the cactus fields’. Everywhere I went, they’d point and say ‘you dirty, dirty sock’.”
Can O’ Beans sat up and straightened his label.
Dirty Sock continued, his eyes still marked on the cactus fields down the way, “Afore long, wouldn’t cha know it, I started to believe them. I told myself ‘Ur just a dirty old no good stinkin sock from the cactus fields.' It was like that for a real long time."
Can swallowed silently.
"But then you know what happened Can?” Dirty Sock asked, turning his cuff to face the rusty Can.
“What’s that Sock?”
Sock let out a sigh so deep, Can swore there’d be winds down in the valley. “Well Can,” Sock said, “Then I found this here work. And I started working. And wouldn’t cha know it, the more I worked, the better I felt. I had a purpose. A mission. And you know what Can? It felt good.”
Can bent his lid in a rusty smile. “That sounds great Sock. So then what happened?"
“Then,” Sock said with a tinge of rosy joy, “Then I stopped thinking of myself as a dirty old sock. I looked at myself in Mirror and said ‘Boy, you ain’t just no dirty old sock from the cactus fields. You got a job. You got a purpose. Ur a Dirty Old Sock with a mission. And wouldn’t cha know it, afore long, people stopped pointing and saying ‘Ur just a dirty old sock from the cactus fields’. They'd say 'Hey Sock. How's work been?' And that's when I realized something."
Can O' Beans leaned in, eager to hear Sock's realization.
Sock continued, "I realized, them sitty folks wasn’t calling me Dirty Old Sock cuz they saw me that way.” Sock paused for a moment as he looked at the weathered tool in his lap. “They saw me as a Dirty Old Sock from the cactus fields, cuz that’s how I saw myself.”
Sock stopped talking and Can O’ Beans heard only the wind in the valley below.
Can looked at Sock, his threads beginning to split and tangle, and began to understand Sock's industrious ways.
Can vowed to himself to work harder. He vowed to not spend all day laying in the sun, watching Turkey Vultures light in the sky.
Can wagged his lid at Sock as if to say thanks and rolled away.
Sock gave one last cactus-shaking sigh, took a long draught from his bucket, picked up his tool and got back to work.
And that, my humanoid friend, is what a Dirty Old Sock can teach you about life and business.
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