Live Like a Bamboo Tree
Deep in a village lived an old man and a very young man. The old man’s name is Mr. Oldwise, and the young man’s is Hearty. Mr. Oldwise was a quiet person. He barely spoke to anyone unless he was asked to. His character was so much different from Hearty’s. He really liked to speak about everything to everyone. One day Mr. Oldwise was doing his job in front of his house. Hearty came and sat next to him. “What are you doing, Mr. Oldwise?” asked Hearty. “What do you think I am doing anyway?” asked the old man briefly. “Well, seems to me that you are making a chair of bamboo.” The old man said nothing. There was a pause between them. “Why don’t you just buy one instead of putting yourself in difficulty?” asked the young man again. The old man was sucking at his pipe deeply and said, “Who says I am in difficulty?” “Ehmm, you’re too old to make such thing.” “That’s what you think, not what I think.” Hearty paid attention to what this old man was doing. He just couldn’t hold his tongue not to say a word. So he began to tell the old man how he had wanted to be successful person in his life, and that’s what he was after. Hearing all the words spoken by Hearty, the old man just said, “Remember young man, be like a bamboo tree when you become what you want to be.” “What’s that supposed to mean, Old Man?” asked Hearty with a confused look. “You’ll understand it someday,” answered Mr. Oldwise. Time went by so fast. Hearty had been wandering in some places, searching for what he wanted : success. Good fate had been on his side apparently. He somehow had become a new person. After he got what he wanted, he went back to his hometown. The first person that he wanted to see was his old friend, Mr. Oldwise. As usual, the oldman was doing something in the porch. “Hello, Mr. Oldwise. Long time no see. I hope you still remember me.” Mr. Oldwise was still busy with the bamboo. Not long after,he looked at the man before him from top to down. “I see you’ve changed a lot now,” said the old man. “Yes of course. I was nothing a log time agi but you see now I am a verry different man. I have everything now. I can conquer this world. Pretty much easily, though,” said Hearty arrogantly. The old man reluctantly heard what the man had said. He drank tea by himself. “No more words to say, Old Man?” asked Hearty. The old man just shook his head. With the power and money that Hearty had, his name was well-known among the other villagers. Everybody was talking about his success. Hearty was more and more becoming such a bigheaded person. One day Hearty felt that it was the right time for him to find a wife. He asked his servant to announce this every woman in the village. Soon the news was spreading, and the parents were racing to make their daughters become Hearty’s wife. Nevertheless, Hearty said no to every woman who wanted to become his future wife. He thought that none of them was beautiful enough to be his partner in life. The momen there felt so disappointedwith his refusal. Many of them cried hysterically.
On a sunny day, Hearty took a walk alone. When he almost reached the river, he saw a woman passing by. He couldn’t stop looking at her. “Ohh, she is very beautiful,” he murmured to himself. He then followed her. To his surprise, the woman went to Mr. Oldwise’s house. He, then, asked his servant to find out who she was. When he knew that the woman was Mr. Oldwise’s granddaughter, he went there in rush. “I just found out that you have a very beautiful granddaughter,” went Hearty. The old man answered, “So what?” “I came here for one purpose. I want to take your granddaughter to be my wife.” “I’m afraid I cannot allow that.” “Why? Your granddaughter will not lack anything. She will have and get what she wants.” “She won’t be happy to have such an arrgant person like you.” “you are so arrogant and stubborn, Old Man. I’ll give you a lesson later,” said Hearty with a high tone and walked away. Hearty couldn’t accept the old man refusal. He felt that it was insult for him because he, as a respected man, didn’t want anyone to look down at him. So the next day he came to the house of the old man again. “I still want to take the woman to be my wife. I’ll give you everything you want.” Mr. Oldwise said, “Why do you insist on taking her to be your wife? There are many oth er beautiful mowen here.” “But they are not as beautiful as your granddaughter.” “Alright then I’m giving you one challenge.” “I’ll take it. What is it, Old Man?” “I challenge you to beat yourself.” Hearty felt so confused with what he had just heard. He asked him, “What do you mean?” “Do you remember I ever told you to become like a bamboo tree when you have reached everything you want?” “Yes.” “I am perfectly sure until now you haven’t understood that yet. Am I right?” Hearty felt a bit embarrased by all this. He then said. “Carry on.” “Find out what it is and try to beat yourself. When you have found out the answer, come to me. Then you shall get what you want.” Hearty took the challenge. It took him many days to understand what that meant. He started at the bamboo trees and learned everything about them. He touched the and a thought hard about them. “Aha,” he said to himself. “I finally know what he meant by beating myself.” Hearty came to the oldman’s house in the next morning. He found that the old man was making something. But this time he was accompanied by his granddaughter. “So you’re here. Did you get the answer?” asked the old man. “Yes. And I’m telling you now. Bamboo is strong when it’s young but it’s getting stronger when it’s getting old and old. It stands erectly when it’s young but when it’s old and it’s starts to duck. That means when we are young we have to work hard with great spirit, but when we get older we shouldn’t be arrogant because of what we’ve achieved during young days. The success we’ve got shouldn’t make us big-headed but humble instead.” “And?” “And I should beat myself from being arrogant now.” The old man said, “You have understood it now. So, what are you going to do?” “I’m going to change myself into someone who is not arrogant person. With the power and money I have now, I’ll use them wisely. I’ll use them only for kindness. Thank you, Sir, for reminding me of what I am now.”
The old man felt touched by the young man’s heart. Finally he let him take the wo man to be his wife. The three lived happily then. ****