A boy once found a ball of thread on the floor, picked it up and promptly forgot about it.
Only after a few days that he accidentally tore his pants, he remembered the ball of thread and wanted to use it to sew his pants. Upon pulling a bit of the thread, he realised that the thread did not come out, but instead, time skipped forward for an hour and his pants were magically sewn. Curiously, he pulled the thread a bit more and realised it was time for bed. He went to bed puzzled, determined to unravel the mystery of the ball of thread.
The next day in school, he forgot to bring his homework and was being scolded by his Math teacher. While listening, he fumbled in his pocket, found the ball of thread, gave it a little pull, and lo and behold, the scolding was over and he jumped forward an hour in time. With this knowledge of what the ball of thread does, he continued to use it whenever there were difficult times.
The boy used it when he got into trouble with his parents, he used it when he got into a fight with his first girlfriend. He used it in order to fast forward over the tough times for studying, he even used it to skip through the pains of finding a suitable career. Even as he got married, he used the thread to not deal with quarrels with his wife, and used it when his children were bothering him.
Soon, he grew into an old man, and he knew his dying day was near. He gave a little pull, hoping to hasten the process, but alas, the thread did not work any longer. The man pondered about his life, and realised it was meaningless – because meaning came from the toughest of times, and that would have moulded him and crafted him into a man, full of hard knocks, but with the ability to deal with the toughest of situations.
He realised, finally, that the ball of thread robbed him of life’s fullest meaning, simply because he did not want to deal with problems when they came along.