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It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?' He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.' I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.' True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. With all the jokes and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message. This one I thought I could share with you. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have . I hope you share this with someone you care about. I just did. 'Life isn' t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.' If you can't be a pencil to write anyone's happiness, try at least to be a nice rubber to erase everyone's sorrows…
CHALLENGES _ THE SHARK IN YOUR LIFE The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste. To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price. So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their freshfish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish. So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How did they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan? If you were consulting the fish industry, what would you recommend? How Japanese Fish Stay Fresh: To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. The fish are challenged. Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired & dull, so we need a Shark in our life to keep us awake and moving? Basically in our lives Sharks are new challenges to keep us active and taste better... The more intelligent, persistent and competent you are, the more you enjoy a challenge. If your challenges are the correct size, and if you are steadily conquering those challenges, you are Conqueror. You think of your challenges and get energized. You are excited to try new solutions...
THE EMPEROR An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!" One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try." When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!" So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow, The seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better, your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today.
THE WRONG STANDARD There was once a little boy who excitedly told his mom that he had just measured himself and he was six feet tall. Mom was a little skeptical, so she asked him to measure himself again while she watched. She discovered the problem when the boy took out not a 12-inch, but a 6-inch ruler. He had calculated well: he was six-ruler-heights tall – he just had the wrong ruler, the wrong standard. We often fall into the same problem ourselves. We often judge ourselves by a very different standard than even the one we judge others by.
BELIEVING IN PLANES Billy Graham said: “Many people argue, 'I do believe in Christ. I believe in the Church, and I believe in the Bible. Isn’t that enough?' No! You must RECEIVE Christ. I may go to the airport. I have a reservation. I have a ticket in my pocket. The plane is on the ramp. It is a big, powerful plane. I am certain that it will take me to my destination. They call the flight three times. I neglect to get on board. They close the door. The plane taxis down the runway and takes off. I am not on the plane. Why? I 'believed' in the plane, but I neglected to get on board. That’s just it! You believe in God, Christ, the Bible, and the Church - but you have neglected to actually receive Him in your heart. Your belief has been an impersonal, speculative thing, and you have not entrusted yourself to Him.”
THE SCHOLARLY GENTLEMAN AND THE BOAT MAN One day, a very scholarly gentleman, while travelling in India, decided to go across big river, so he asked one of the village people who owned a small boat, if he would take him, to this request the boatman agreed. As they started, the sun became obscured by dark clouds, and as the river was large, the gentleman realized that the crossing would take some time. So he started a conversation with the boatman. “Did you know that the sun is approximately 93,000,000miles away, and yet it has provided heat and light, throughout the universe since time immemorial, baring that, if it was to shift, even a fraction of an inch out of its orbit, there would be total devastation?” The boatman replied; “My dear sir, I am just a simple man who has had no education, there is no way I could know such information” “Then” said the gentleman “You are 25% fool”. Some time passed, and as they were coming to the half way mark, the thunder began to rumble. “Did you know notice the lightening, just before the rumbling sound”. The gentleman asked. He continued. “Do you know how that phenomenon occurs” “No sir” replied the boatman. “Its occurrence is due to the expansion of rapidly heated air,” the gentleman exclaimed, “ You are 50% fool. About ¾ of the way the weather completely changed. It became dark and started to rain heavily and started filling up the little boat with water clearly making it difficult for the boatman. But the foolish gentleman insisted in questioning. “Do you know how we get rain”, “No sir,” was the reply.” “ The sun evaporates water from the sea, this gets stored in the clouds which then travel by be wind power, then when they become full, it lets all the water go, over the land. That’s how we get rain.”
“You are 75% fool.” Said the gentleman, now feeling very smug. The gentleman was suddenly interrupted from his basqueing by a loud cry from the boatman, “Oh no! I have lost my oar and now the water is about capsize the boat, we have no alternative but to swim the remainder of the way, luckily for us it is not very far.” “But I can’t swim,” cried the gentleman now seeing his own imminent death. “Then my dear sir, you are 100% fool” said the boatman.
WHERE TO TAP Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship's owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ship's owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars. "What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!" So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemized bill." The man sent a bill that read: Tapping with a hammer .. $ 2.00 Knowing where to tap ......... $ 9998.00
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference.
THE BAMBOO Once upon a time, in the heart of the Western Kingdom, lay a beautiful garden. And there, in the cool of the day, the Master of the garden went to walk. Of all the denizens of the garden, the most beautiful and most beloved was gracious and noble bamboo.
Year after year, bamboo grew yet more noble and gracious, conscious of his Master's love and watchful delight, but modest and gentle withal. And often when the wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would cast aside his grave stateliness, to dance and play right merrily, tossing and swaying and leaping and bowing in joyous abandon, leading the Great Dance of the garden, Which most delighted the Master's heart. Now, once upon a day, the Master himself drew near to contemplate his Bamboo with eyes of curious expectancy. And Bamboo, in a passion of adoration, bowed his great head to the ground in loving greeting. The Master spoke: "Bamboo, Bamboo, I would use you." Bamboo flung his head to the sky in utter delight. The day of days had come, the day for which he had been made, the day to which he had been growing hour by hour, the day in which he would find his completion and his destiny. His voice came low: "Master, I'm ready. Use me as you will." "Bamboo," – The Master's voice was grave --- "I would have to take you and cut you down!" A trembling of great horror shook Bamboo…"Cut …me… down ? Me.. who thou, Master, has made the most beautiful in all thy Garden…cut me down! Ah, not that. Not that. Use me for the joy, use me for the glory, oh master, but cut me not down!" Beloved Bamboo,"—The Master's voice grew graver still—"If I not cut you down, I cannot use you." The garden grew still. Wind held his breath. Bamboo slowly bent his proud and glorious head. There was a whisper: "Master, if thou cannot use me other than to cut me down.. then do thy will and cut". "Bamboo, beloved Bamboo, I would cut your leaves and branches from you also". "Master, spare me. Cut me down and lay my beauty in the dust; but would thou also have to take from me, my leaves and branches too?" "Bamboo, if I cut them not away, I cannot use you." The Sun hid his face. A listening butterfly glided fearfully away. And Bamboo shivered in terrible
expectancy, whispering low: "Master, cut away" "Bamboo, Bamboo, I would yet… split you in two and cut out your heart, for if I cut not so, I cannot use you." Then Bamboo bowed to the ground: "Master, Master… then cut and split." So did the Master of the garden took Bamboo… and cut him down…and hacked off his branches…and stripped off his leaves…and split him in two… and cut out his heart. And lifting him gently, carried him to where there was a spring of fresh sparkling water in the midst of his dry fields. Then putting one end of the broken Bamboo in the spring and the other end into the water channel in His field, the Master laid down gently his beloved Bamboo… And the spring sang welcome, and the clear sparkling waters raced joyously down the channel of bamboo's torn body into the waiting fields. Then the rice was planted, and the days went by, and the shoots grew and the harvest came. In that day Bamboo, once so glorious in his stately beauty, was yet more glorious in his brokenness and humility. For in his beauty he was life abundant, but in his brokenness he became a channel of abundant life to his Master's world.
THIS IS GOOD The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!" One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied - "No, this is not good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail. About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way. As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened." And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this." "No," his friend replied, "This is good!" "What do you mean, 'This is good'? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?" "If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you, and not here with you right now." In a very unusual way, the message here unfolds into exposing the following principle about life. "Ab solutely everything happens for a purpose; and out of what seems like adversity at the time; always comes good". I'm sure that if any of us care to reflect back on the tragedy's, the heartaches, the 'bad times' in our lives, that we discover that we have really grown or developed during that period of time:even though the reflection may still cause us discomfort in some way. It is in this way that we slowly gather experience and wisdom, and even though we may think or feel that it is unfair, that's the way it is. "This is good". Many of our life's experiences have saved us from some form of cannibals; it's just that
we often don't know that they have at the time. So, for a simple example to help with awareness: next time you may begin to feel you are being 'wronged' by being stuck in a traffic jam, think about the cannibals that could be lurking down the road a bit,but will be gone by the time you get there. Now that's a bit different, but worth trying: "this is good" - despite the circumstances.
Remember: "What others do or say is their stuff; how we react, or not, is our stuff"! And: "True Happiness in life isn't having what you want, but wanting what you have"!
DATE WITH A WOMAN ( MUST READ) After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said I love you but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you. The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. 'What's wrong, are you well,' she asked? My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. 'I thought that it would be pleasant to be with you,' I responded. 'Just the two of us.' She thought about it for a moment, and then said, 'I would like that very much.' That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's. 'I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, 'she said, as she got into the car. 'They can't wait to hear about our meeting'. We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. 'It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,' she said. 'Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor,' I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation - nothing extraordinary, but catching up on recent
events of each other's life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, 'I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.' I agreed. 'How was your dinner date?' asked my wife when I got home. 'Very nice. Much more than I could have imagined,' I answered. A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn't have time to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: 'I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.’ At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: 'I LOVE YOU!' and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than God and your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till 'some other time.'
80 FLOORS There were once 2 brothers who lived on the 80th floor of a tall building. On coming home one day, they realized to their dismay that the lifts were not working and that they have to climb the stairs home. After struggling to the 20th level, panting and tired, they decided to abandon their bags and come back for them the next day. They left their bags then and climbed on. When they have struggled to the 40th level by this time they had gone sufficiently mad and irritated. The younger brother started to grumble and both of them began to quarrel. They continued to climb the flights of steps, quarreling all the way to the 60th floor. They then realized that they have only 20 levels more to climb and decided to stop quarreling and continue climbing in peace. They silently climbed on and reached their home at long last. Each stood calmly before the door and waited for the! other to open the door. And they realized that the key was in their bags which were left on the 20th floor. THIS STORY IS A REFLECTION ON OUR LIFE AND TIMES . All of us climb the tall building called LIFE. Some climb till all the 80 floors and some less. Many of us climb under the expectations of our companion. Time to time these are our friends and parents till the 20th floor, then our spouse and our dear ones till the next level of the building. We seldom get to do the things that we really like and love and are under so much pressure and stress so that by the age of 20, we get tired and decided to dump this load. Being free of the stress and pressure, we work enthusiastically and dream ambitious wishes. By the time we reach 40 years old, we start to lose our vision and dreams. We began to feel unsatisfied and start to complain and criticize. We live life as a misery as we are never satisfied. Reaching 60, we realize that we have little left for complaining anymore, and we began to walk the final episode in peace a! nd calmness. We think that there is nothing left to disappoint us, only to realize that we could not rest in peace because we have an unfulfilled dream. A dream we abandon 60 years ago. So what's your dream? Know your dreams and follow it so that you will not live with regrets. * ACCEPT YOURSELF * BELIEVE IN YOURSELF * LIKE YOURSELF
Inside each one of us are powers so strong, treasures so rich, possibilities so endless, that to command them all into action would change the history of the world.
HOW TO PREVENT MOTIVATION AND CREATIVITY Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it. Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here. And that, my friends, is how company policy begins. NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY!!!
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION
Jack and Max are walking from religious service. Jack wonders whether it would be all right to smoke while praying. Max replies, "Why don't you ask the Priest?" So Jack goes up to the Priest and asks, " Father, may I smoke while I pray?" The Priest replies, "No, my son, you may not! That's utter disrespect to our religion." Jack goes back to his friend and tells him what the good Priest told him. Max says, "I'm not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try." And so Max goes up to the Priest and asks, "Father, may I pray while I smoke ?" To which the Priest eagerly replies, "By all means, my son. By all means. You can always pray whenever you want to."
PICKUP IN THE RAIN One night, at 11:30 pm, an older African-American woman was standing on the side of a Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her-generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant combination console color TV and stereo record player were delivered to his home. A special note was attached. The note read: Dear Mr. James: Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.
DEVIL”S MOST USED INSTRUMENT
It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale, the tools were placed for public inspection; each tool being marked with its sale price. They were a treacherous lot of implements... Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Deceit, Lying, Pride, and so on. Laid apart from the rest was a harmless looking tool, that appeared to have been heavily used, and was priced very high. "What is the name of this tool?" asked one of the purchasers, pointing to it. "That is Discouragement," replied the devil. "Why have you priced it so high?" "Because it is more useful to me than all the others. I can pry open and get inside people's hearts with that when I cannot get near them with my other tools. Once I get inside, I can make them do what I choose. It is badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since very few people know that it belongs to me." Never get discouraged! Keep your head up keep the faith!
I KNEW YOU WOULD COME There were two childhood buddies who went through school and college and even joined the army together. War broke out and they were fighting in the same unit. One night they were ambushed. Bullets were flying all over and out of the darkness came a voice, "Harry, please come and help me." Harry immediately recognized the voice of his childhood buddy, Bill. He asked the captain if he could go. The captain said, "No, I can't let you go, I am already short-handed and I cannot afford to lose one more person. Besides, the way Bill sounds he is not going to make it." Harry kept quiet. Again the voice came, "Harry, please come and help me." Harry sat quietly because the captain had refused earlier. Again and again the voice came. Harry couldn't contain himself any longer and told the captain, "Captain, this is my childhood buddy. I have to go and help." The captain reluctantly let him go. Harry crawled through the darkness and dragged Bill back into the trench. They found that Bill was dead. Now the captain got angry and shouted at Harry, "Didn't I tell you he was not going to make it? He is dead, you could have been killed and I could have lost a hand. That was a mistake." Harry replied, "Captain, I did the right thing. When I reached Bill he was still alive and his last words were 'Harry, I knew you would come."'
BE SELFISH Gautam Buddha is passing near a village which consists of high caste brahmins only. They are very much against Gautam Buddha, they have all gathered outside the village to condemn him, to abuse him. He stands there listening to their abuse, their allegations, their lies. Even Ananda -- who has been with him all these years -- feels angry. Because they were born into a royal family: they were warriors, their whole training was to fight. But because Gautam Buddha is present, he controls himself; otherwise he would have killed one or two people then and there. Gautam Buddha said to them, "You see that the sun is going to set soon, and we have to reach the other village before the sun sets. If you have not finished all that you wanted to say to me, I will make a point that when I return I set aside enough time to listen to you again. And in two days, I will be returning along the same route -- so it will be very kind of you if you can wait just two days." One man from the crowd said, "You don't seem to be disturbed at all. And we are not just saying things to you -- we are abusing you, insulting you." Gautam Buddha said, "You have come a little late. If you had come ten years before, you would not have gone back alive. I am also a warrior. There would have been bloodshed here; not a single man in this crowd would have gone back alive. But you have come a little late. "In the village just before this village, people came with sweets and fruits. And we said, `We eat only once a day, and we have taken our food, so it would be very kind if you would take these things back with you. We are grateful.' What do you think they did with those sweets and those fruits?" Somebody said, "They must have distributed them amongst themselves; they must have eaten them." Buddha said, "You are intelligent. Do the same: whatever you have brought, I don't accept; take it back. Because unless I accept your insult, you cannot insult me; it is a two-way affair. It is your mouth, you can say anything -- but unless I accept it, you are just talking into the air. Just go home and say all these things to each other; enjoy. And I will be coming again after two days, so be ready." They were shocked, and they could not believe -- what kind of man is this? When they moved on, Ananda said to Buddha, "This is too much. There were moments when I was going to jump and hit the man! Just because of you, I tried to control my temptation." Buddha said -- and remember it -- he said: "What those people were saying has not hurt me. What you are saying hurts me. You have been with me for so many years, and yet you are not aware
enough to know what to take and what not to take? Can't you discriminate?" I want you not to become missionaries; I want you to become messages. And that is possible only if you are utterly selfish, so that before you start helping others, you have helped yourself; before you start enlightening other people, you are enlightened yourself. That's what I mean by being selfish. Whatever you want to spread must be your living experience.
THE FORK There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand." The pastor didn't know what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'. It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance. So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them : "Keep your fork...the best is yet to come". The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman the last time he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing, her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question, "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the
people of the conversation he had with the woman about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.
HELL AND HEAVEN A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"? "This is Heaven, sir," the man answered. "Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.? I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets." The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. "Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"? "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in." "How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.? "There should be a bowl by the pump." They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.? "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is Heaven," he answered.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too." "Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell." "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" "No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."
C OOKI E S A young lady was waiting for her flight in the boarding room of a big airport As she would need to wait many hours, she decided to buy a book to spend her time. She also bought a packet of cookies. She sat down in an armchair, in the VIP room of the airport, to rest and read in peace. Beside the armchair where the packet of cookies lay, a man sat down in the next seat, opened his magazine and started reading. When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated but said nothing. She just thought: "what a nerve! If I was in the mood I would punch him for daring!" For each cookie she took, the man took one too. This was infuriating her but she didn't want to cause a scene. When only one cookie remained, she thought: "ah.... What this abusive man do now?" Then, the man, taking the last cookie, divided it into half, giving her one half. Ah! That was too much! She was much too angry now! In a huff, she took her book, her things and stormed to the boarding place. When she sat down in her seat, inside the plane, she looked into her purse to take her eyeglasses, and, to her surprise, her packet of cookies was there, untouched, unopened! She felt so Ashamed!! She realized that she was wrong..... She had forgotten that her cookies were kept in her purse. The man had divided his cookies with her, without feeling angered or bitter. ....while she had been very angry, thinking that she was dividing her cookies with him. And now there was no chance to explain herself... noter to apologize."
HOW TO KILL YOUR MOTHER – IN- LAW A long time ago in China , a girl named Li-Li got married & went to live with her husband and motherin-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly. Days passed, and weeks passed. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Li-Li's poor husband! d great distress. Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-! law's bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it! Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for awhile, and finally said, "Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you." Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do."Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspect you, when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. "Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen." Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law. Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled
her temper!r, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening. One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again She said, "Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law. She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her." Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her." HAVE YOU REALIZED that how you treat others is exactly how they will treat you? There is a wise Chinese saying: "The person who loves others will also be loved in return." God might be trying to work in another person's life through you.
BOY AND TREE There was one time a very young boy, who used to spend time playing by a tree. One day he got bored and he said to the tree, "I'm bored, I've played with these toys too many times!" The tree replied, "OK, you can climb up on me and play on my branches." The boy got really happy with this suggestion and he had a lot of fun playing and sitting high up, on the branches of the tree. When he started school, he spent more time away from the tree, but one day he came back to it, and the tree was overjoyed to see its young companion, and it encouraged him to climb on, but he refused. "My clothes are going to get dirty if I climb up on you." So the tree thought for a while, and said, "OK, bring a rope and tie it to me, and you can use my branches as a swing." The boy liked that idea, so he did that too, and would come back every other day to sit for a while on that swing. Whenever he used to get hot, the tree told him to rest in its shade. As he got older, and moved on to college, times became harder on him and he ran short of food, so he went back to the tree which he had stopped visiting for a long time. The tree recognised him immediately and welcomed him, but he was hungry and complained to the tree, "I dont have any food to eat, my stomach is cringing with hunger." So the tree said, "Pull down my branches and take off the fruit, and fill yourself up." The young guy didnt even hesitate, but jumped up and tore off one of the smaller branches and ate to his fill. Over the weeks, he tore off all the branches and ate all the fruit. After the fruits had all gone, he went away and didnt come back to the tree. When he reached his middle ages, he came back to the tree and said to it, "I have been very successful
in life. I have earned a lot of money, I have a huge house and I have found a great wife. Now I want to travel and see the world." The tree was now very old, but to help its long time companion, it didnt wait, and said, "Bring a saw, cut off my trunk and make a boat. Then you will see the wonders of the world." So again, without hesitation the man cut down the tree. The same tree which he had played on, ate its fruit, laid in its shade; he cut it down and made a boat. As soon as it was finished, he sailed away and wasnt seen by his people again. One day, an old man, walked past the tree. It hadnt recovered from the time he had cut it down. He went up to the tree, but didnt say anything. He felt the tears coming down from his eyes. This time the tree spoke in a faint voice, "I'm sorry. I dont have a trunk for you to climb, nor fruit for you to eat, nor branches of shade for you to lie in. All I have now are my deep roots." The old man whispered, "That's fine. Tree roots are the best place to lie down, snuggle up and sleep after a long life." The tree symbolizes our parents, and the boy symbolizes us. The moral of the story is that we make use of our parents like tissue, and use them all up, and don't even give thanks, but they stay with us till the very end.
WOLVES An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice... "Let me tell you a story." "I too, at times, have felt great hate for those who have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It's like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times. " "It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way." "But...the other wolf... ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing." "Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit." The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather ?" The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."
YOU ARE WONDERFUL The following story captured our heart. It happened several years ago in the Paris opera house. A famous singer had been contracted to sing, and ticket sales were booming. In fact, the night of the concert found the house packed and every ticket sold. The feeling of anticipation and excitement was in the air as the house manager took the stage and said, Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your enthusiastic support. I am afraid that due to illness, the man whom you've all come to hear will not be performing tonight. However, we have found a suitable substitute we hope will provide you with comparable entertainment. The crowd groaned in disappointment and failed to hear the announcer mention the stand-in's name. The environment turned from excitement to frustration. The stand-in performer gave the performance everything he had. When he had finished, there was nothing but an uncomfortable silence. No one applauded. Suddenly, from the balcony, a little boy stood up and shouted, Daddy, I think you are wonderful! The crowd broke into thunderous applause. We all need people in our Lives who are willing to stand up once in a while and say, I think you are wonderful. And at times others are expecting this from you. Are you telling them how wonderful you are?
SNAKE AND SAW One night a snake while it was looking for food, entered a carpenter’s workshop. The carpenter, who was a rather untidy man, had left several of his tools lying on the floor. One of them was a saw. As the snake went round and round the shop, he climbed over the saw, which gave him a little cut. At once, thinking that the saw was attacking him, he turned around and bit it so hard that his mouth started to bleed. This made him very angry. He attacked again and again until the saw was covered with blood and seemed to be dead. Dying from his own wounds, the snake decided to give one last hard bite then turned away. The next morning the carpenter was surprised to find a dead snake on his doorstep.
Lesson to Learn: Sometimes in trying to hurt others, we only hurt ourselves
BECOME A LAKE The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. "How does it taste?" the Master asked. "Terrible," replied the boy. The Master then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the guy swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the old man said, "Now drink the water from the lake." As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the Master asked, "How does it taste?" "Good!" remarked the boy. "Do you taste the salt?" asked the Master. "No," said the young man. The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said," The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the 'pain' depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things..... What is required is to change our paradigm and make a shift in our focus. Too often we are more focused only on the gain, and miss out on the gain. Stop being a glass. Become a lake! Failure doesn't mean when we fail, but when we don't want to come up again.
CHANGE OUR VISION
There was a millionaire who was bothered by severe eye pain. He consulted so many physicians and was getting his treatment done. He did not stop consulting galaxy of medical experts; he consumed heavy loads of drugs and underwent hundreds of injections. But the ache persisted with great vigour than before. At last a monk who has supposed to be an expert in treating such patients was called for by the millionaire. The monk understood his problem and said that for sometime he should concentrate only on green colours and not to fall his eyes on any other colours. The millionaire got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green color and directed that every object his eye was likely to fall to be painted in green colour just as the monk had directed. When the monk came to visit him after few days, the millionaire' s servants ran with buckets of green paints and poured on him since he was in red dress, lest their master not see any other colour and his eye ache would come back. Hearing this monk laughed and said "If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles, worth just a few rupees, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and all other articles and also could have saved a large share of his fortune. You cannot paint the world green." Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly. It is foolish to shape the world, let us shape ourselves first.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE A student asks a teacher, "What is love?" The teacher said, "in order to answer your question, go to the wheat field and choose the biggest wheat and come back. But the rule is: you can go through them only once and cannot turn back to pick." The student went to the field, go thru first row, he saw one big wheat, but he wonders....may be there is a bigger one later. Then he saw another bigger one... But may be there is an even bigger one waiting for him. Later, when he finished more than half of the wheat field, he start to realize that the wheat is not as big as the previous one he saw, he know he has missed the biggest one, and he regretted. So, he ended up went back to the teacher with empty hand. The teacher told him, "...this is love... You keep looking for a better one, but when later you realise, you have already miss the person...." "What is marriage then?" the student asked. The teacher said, "in order to answer your question, go to the corn field and choose the biggest corn and come back. But the rule is: you can go through them only once and cannot turn back to pick." The student went to the corn field, this time he is careful not to repeat the previous mistake, when he reach the middle of the field, he has picked one medium corn that he feel satisfy, and come back to the teacher. The teacher told him, "this time you bring back a corn.... You look for one that is just nice, and you have faith and believe this is the best one you get.... This is marriage
YOU WILL REAP WHAT YOU SOW There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court. The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure. The farmer replied, "ur Honor, I am primitive. I don't have a proper measure, but I do have a scale." The judge asked, "Then how do you weigh the butter" The farmer replied "Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker." What is the moral of the story? We get back in life what we give to others. Whenever you take an action, ask yourself this question - Am I giving fair value for the wages or money I hope to make ?
THE MAN WHO WILLED HIMSELF TO DIE
There was a man who worked for the railroad. One day as he went into the freezer compartment to do his routine work, the door accidentally closed and he found himself trapped in the compartment. He shouted for help but no one heard him since it was past midnight. He tried to break down the door but he could not. As he lay in the freezer compartment, he began to feel colder, and colder. Then he began to feel weaker, and weaker, and he wrote on the wall of the compartment, “I am feeling colder, and colder; and I am getting weaker, and weaker. I am dying, and this may be my last words”. In the morning when the other workers opened up the compartment they found him dead. The sad twist to the above story is that the freezing apparatus in the compartment had broke down a few days earlier. The poor worker did not know about the damaged freezing apparatus and in his mind the freezing apparatus was working perfectly. He felt cold, got weaker and literally willed himself to die.
SELFLESS LOVE My wife called, 'How long will you be with that newspaper? Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food? I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene. My only daughter, Sindu, looked frightened; tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with curd rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age. I cleared my throat and picked up the bowl. 'Sindu, darling, why don't you take a few mouthful of this curd rice? Just for Dad's sake, dear'. Sindu softened a bit and wiped her tears with the back of her hands. 'Ok, Dad. I will eat - not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But, you should...' Sindu hesitated. 'Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?' 'Promise'. I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine, and clinched the deal. Now I became a bit anxious. 'Sindu, dear, you shouldn't insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items. Dad does not have that kind of money right now. Ok?' 'No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive'. Slowly and painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife and my mother for forcing my child to eat something that she detested. After the ordeal was through, Sindu came to me with her eyes wide with expectation. All our attention was on her. 'Dad, I want to have my head shaved off, this Sunday!' was her demand. 'Atrocious!' shouted my wife, 'A girl child having her head shaved off? Impossible!' 'Never in our family!' My mother rasped. 'She has been watching too much of television. Our culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV programs!' 'Sindu, darling, why don't you ask for something else? We will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head.' 'Please, Sindu, why don't you try to understand our feelings?' I tried to plead with her. 'Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice'. Sindu was in tears. 'And you promised
to grant me whatever I ask for. Now, you are going back on your words. Was it not you who told me the story of King Harishchandra, and its moral that we should honor our promises no matter what?' It was time for me to call the shots. 'Our promise must be kept.' 'Are you out of your mind?' chorused my mother and wife. 'No. If we go back on ourpromises, she will never learn to honour her own. Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled.' With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face, and her eyes looked big and beautiful. On Monday morning, I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch my hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved. I waved back with a smile. Just then, a boy alighted from a car, and shouted, 'Sinduja, please wait for me!' What struck me was the hairless head of that boy. 'May be, that is the in-stuff', I thought. 'Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed!' Without introducing herself, a lady got out of the car, and continued, 'that boy who is walking along with your daughter is my son Harish. He is suffering from... leukemia'. She paused to muffle her sobs. 'Harish could not attend the school for the whole of the last month. He lost all his hair due to the side effects of the chemotherapy. He refused to come back to school fearing the unintentional but cruel teasing of the schoolmates. Sinduja visited him last week, and promised him that she will take care of the teasing issue. But, I never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my son! Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter.' I stood transfixed and then, I wept. 'My little Angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is!'
The happiest people on this planet are not those who live on their own terms but are those who change their terms for the ones whom they love !!
AWARENESS Once upon a time a king had an only son a Prince who was young, courageous, skillful and intelligent. So the king sent his son away to see a Wise Old man to open his mind to “AWARENESS” He sent the Prince to meet the Wise Old man. As he met the old man he pleaded “Enlighten me as to the path in life I should take.” The Wise man replied, “My words will only vanish like footsteps in the sand” However, the Wise man said I will give you some instructions on your path; you will come across three Gates. Read the sayings on each of the Gates. Follow the pathway to discovery. You will be overwhelmed during the journey. But do not seek to turn back, for you will be condemned to live again and again that which you had run away from all your life. I can not say any more. It is time you must follow the road, right ahead of you. As the Wise elder departed, and the Prince started walking on his journey on the Path of Life. The Prince soon came across the first large gate on which he read: “CHANGE THE WORLD” This is precisely what I intended to do, thought the Prince. But, he started its first struggle. Driven by ideal, his passion and his strength pushed him to be confronted with the world, he undertook, conquered, replicated reality to his desire. He experienced the pleasure and the exhilaration of the conqueror, but his heart was not at rest. He managed to change certain things but others would not give way. Long years went by. One day, he met the Wise Old Man who asked him: "What did you learn on the path?" The Prince replied. I learned what was in my power and what was beyond my power. Thus I now see what things I had influence in and things beyond my control. Well done, said the Old Man. Use your strength to act upon on what you can. Forget about what is beyond you. And the old man vanished. As the Prince continued on his journey. Sometime later, the Prince came across a second gate. One could read on it: "CHANGE OTHERS" This is precisely what I intend to do, thought the Prince. And he rose against all that could upset or displease him in his fellow being. But he struggled to alter their minds, and correct their faults. Many more years went by. One day, as he was meditating on the failures of his attempts to change others, he came across the Wise Old man and he asked him: "What did you learn on the path?" The Prince
replied. That other people are not the source of my joys or sorrows, my achievements or failures. They are only there to make me aware. "You are right, said the Wise Man.” Though what they awaken in you, they made you aware of yourself. Be grateful towards those who make you feel joy and pleasure. But be also grateful to these who hurt and frustrate you for through them Life Teaches you. And the Old Man vanished. A little time after, the Prince came across a Third Gate. One can read on it: "CHANGE YOURSELF" The Prince paused a moment to himself and said…. “If I am myself the cause of my problems, this is that I have to do." And he started his third struggle. He tried to inflect his character, to fight his imperfections, to remove his defects, and change every thing which didn't correspond to his ideal. After many years of struggle during which he was at times successful at times defeated, the Prince met the Wise man again. The old man asked the Prince "What did you learn on the path?" The Prince replied. That there are some things that can be improved, others which resist and can't be changed.""Well done," said the Wise man. The Prince replied “I'm getting weary of fighting against myself. Won’t this ever end? When will I be at rest? I wish to stop fighting and give up and let go."The wise old man said. “This happens to be your next lesson.” But before going any further, turn around and look back at the way you have already walked And the Old Man vanished. As he looked back, the Prince saw in the distance the 3rd gate and realized that one could read a different message on the back of the gate and it read: "ACCEPT YOURSELF" The Prince wondered why he hadn't noticed this inscription when it had crossed the gate the first time, in the opposite direction."When one is fighting, one becomes blind, he said to himself." He also saw, spread on the ground around him, every thing he had rejected and fought within himself: his faults, his dark side, his fears, his limits, and all his old demons. He then learnt how to recognize them, accept them and love them. He learnt how to love himself without comparing himself, judging himself, blaming himself. He came across the Wise Old man who asked him: What did you learn along the path? The Prince replied " That to hate or refuse part of myself was to condemn myself never to be at peace within myself. I learned how to accept myself, completely and unconditionally." Well done, said the wise Old Man, it is the first stage of Wisdom. Now you go through the 3rd gate again." Just as he had reached the other side of the gate, the Prince saw the back face of the second gate and it read: "ACCEPT OTHERS". All around him he recognized the people he had met in his life; those he had loved, those he had hated, those he had helped, those he had fought. But to his surprise, he was now unable to see their faults,
which had disturbed him so much, and against which he had fought so much He came across the Wise Old man who asked him. "What did you learn on your path?" The Prince replied. That if I were in peace with myself, I would have nothing to blame others for, nothing to fear of them I have learned to accept others totally and unconditionally." "Well done, said the Wise Old man, It is the second stage of Wisdom. Now you can go through the 2nd gate again Just as he had reached the other side of the gate, the Prince saw the back of the first gate and it read: "ACCEPT THE WORLD." That is strange, he thought, "Why didn't I see the inscription the first time?“ He looked around him
and recognized the world he had tried to conquer, transform, and change. He was hit by an awe the brightness and the beauty of all things. And yet it was the same world as it used to be. Had the world changed, or his perception of it changed? He came across the Wise Old man and asked him. "What did you learn on your path?" The Prince replied….. “That the world is the mirror of my soul. That my soul, my heart does not see the world, but sees itself in the world. “…. “…When it is cheerful, the world seems merry. When it is gloomy, the world seems sad. The world is neither merry nor sad. It just is; that is all.” … It was not the world that was troubling me, but the IDEA I had of it. I accepted to accept it without judging it, to reckon, unconditionally This is the 3rd Wisdom, said the Old Man. “You are now at grace within yourself & others in the World." A deep feeling of peace, serenity and fulfillment overwhelmed the Prince. Silence was within him.
TOO MANY TO A HUT Once upon a time, there was a man who lived with his wife, two small children, and his elderly parents in a tiny hut. He tried to be patient and gracious, but the noise and crowded conditions wore him down. In desperation, he consulted the village wise man. “Do you have a rooster? asked the wise man. “Yes," he replied. Keep the rooster in the hut with your family, and come and see me again next week." The next week, the man returned and told the wise elder that the living conditions were worse than ever, with the rooster crowing and making a mess of the hut. “Do you have a cow?" asked the wise elder. The man nodded fearfully. “Take your cow into the hut as well, and come see me in a week." Over the next several weeks, the man—on the advice of the wise elder—made room for a goat, two dogs, and his brother’s children. Finally, he could take no more, and in a fit of anger, he kicked out all his guest, leaving only his wife, his children, and his parents. The home suddenly became spacious and quiet, and everyone lived happily ever after.
THE WISE SONGBIRD Once upon a time there was a golden songbird that lived in a beautiful garden. It spent all its days singing the loveliest songs to the honour of its maker and the delight of all the people who heard it. But the keeper of the garden, who was a foolish and greedy man, coveted the little songster, and one day he made a cunning net in which he snared it. The little bird begged the man to release him and promised to tell him three great secrets if only he would let him go. Now the gardener really was a very greedy man and rubbing his hands together, he eagerly released the bird. Then the songbird told him it's three great secrets:Never believe all that you hear; Never regret what you have never lost, and never throw away that which you have in your keeping. The gardener was furious when he heard this and said he had known these so-called 'secrets' since he was a little child and shouted that the bird had tricked him. But the songbird quietly replied that if the man had really known these three secrets, or only the last of them, he would never have let him go. Then the bird added:"I have a most precious jewel weighing over three ounces hidden inside me and whoever possesses that marvellous stone will have every wish granted." On hearing this, the keeper roared like a lion and cursed himself for setting the songster free. But the little bird only added fuel to his rage by explaining that since he weighed no more than half an ounce at most, as anyone with eyes could plainly see, how was it possible that a gem weighing more than three ounces could be hidden within it's tiny body? At that the man tore his hair and lunged at the bird in a towering rage, but the little songbird flew to a nearby branch and added sweetly:"Since you never had the jewel in your hands you are already regretting what you never lost, and believing what I told you, you threw it away by setting me free." Then the little songbird told the man to study well these three great secrets and so become as wise as the bird himself!
THE MONKEY WITH THE WOODEN APPLES
There once was a happy monkey wandering the jungle, eating delicious fruit when hungry, and resting when tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest. He sniffed the apples and smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood, but they were beautiful, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter. He admired his new possessions proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He became so attached to them, that he didn't even notice his hunger at first. A fruit tree reminded him, but he felt the apples in his hands. He couldn't bear to set them down to reach for the fruit. In fact, he couldn't relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails. The apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey thought about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn't climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go? Letting go of such valuable things seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling it's fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples and reached up for his meal. He was happy again. ********* Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as "productive" - carries it like a shiny wooden apple. But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life.
Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples - they prove he's "doing everything he can." He holds onto them compulsively.
THE FISH AND THE TURTLE Once upon a time there was a fish. And just because it was a fish, it had lived all its life in the water and knew nothing whatever about anything else but water. And one day as it swam about in the lake where all its days had been spent, it happened to meet a turtle of its acquaintance who had just come back from a little excursion on the land. "Good day, Mr. Turtle!" said the fish. "I have not seen you for a long time. Where have you been?" "Oh", said the turtle, "I have just been for a trip on dry land." "On dry land!" exclaimed the fish. "What do you mean by on dry land? There is no dry land. I had never seen such a thing. Dry land is nothing." "Well," said the turtle good-naturedly. "If you want to think so, of course you may; there is no one who can hinder you. But that's where I've been, all the same." "Oh, come," said the fish. "Try to talk sense. Just tell me now what is this land of yours like? Is it all wet?" "No, it is not wet," said the turtle. "Is it nice and fresh and cool?" asked the fish. "No, it is not nice and fresh and cool," the trutle replied. "Is it clear so that light can come through it?" "No, it is not clear. Light cannot come through it." "Is it soft and yielding, so that I can move my fins about in it and push my nose through it?" "No, it is not soft and yielding. You could not swim in it." "Does it move or flow in streams?" "No, it neither moves nor flows in streams." "Does it ever rise up into waves then, with white foams in them?" asked the fish, impatient at this string of Noes. "No!" replied the turtle, truthfully. "It never rises up into waves that I have seen." "There now," exclaimed the fish triumphantly. "Didn't I tell you that this land of yours was just nothing? I have just asked, and you have answered me that it is neither wet nor cool, not clear nor soft and that it does not flow in streams nor rise up into waves. And if it isn't a single one of these things what else is it but nothing? Don't tell me." "Well, well", said the turtle, "If you are determined to think that dry land is nothing, I suppose you must just go on thinking so. But any one who knows what is water and what is land would say you were just a silly fish, for you think that anything you have never known is nothing just because you have never
known it." And with that the turtle turned away and, leaving the fish behind in its little pond of water, set out on another excursion over the dry land that was nothing.
THE DUCK AND THE DEVIL
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He Practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting A little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was Walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck Square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see His sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the Dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in The kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go Fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make Supper." Sally just smiled and said," Well that's all right because Johnny told Me he wanted to help." She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally Went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, He finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long You would let Sally make a slave of you." ********** Thought for the day and every day thereafter? Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... And the devil Keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad Habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) ....whatever it is....You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing..... He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave Of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He Not only forgives you, but He forgets . It is by God's grace and Mercy that we are saved.
19 HORSES One rich man owned 19 horses when he died. In his last will and teastament he had written that upon his death, half the horses he owned should go to his only son; one fourth to the village temple and one fifth to the faithful servant. The village elders could not stop scratching their heads. How can they give half of the 19 horses to the son? You cannot cut up a horse. They puzzled over this dilemma for more than two weeks and then decided to send for a wise man who was living in a neighbouring village. The wise man came riding on his horse and asked the villagers if he can be of any help to them. The village elders told him about the rich man's last will and testament which stated that half of the (19) horses must be given to his only son, one fourth must go to the temple and one fifth to the faithful servant. The wise man said he will immediately solve their problem without any delay whatsoever. He had the 19 horses placed in a row standing next to one another. Then he added his own horse as the 20 th horse. Now he went about giving half of the 20 horses – that is ten horses to the son. One fourth of 20- that is 5 horses were given to the temple committee. One fifth of twenty- that is 4 horses were given to the faithful servant. Ten plus five plus four made 19 horses. The remaining 20 th horse was his own which he promptly mounted, spoke a few inspiring words, and rode back home. The villagers were simply dumbfounded, full of disbelief and filled with admiration. And the parting words of the wise man were inscribed in their hearts and minds which they greatly cherished and passed on to their succeeding generations till today. The wise man said: In our daily lives, in our daily affairs, simply add God's name and then go about facing the day's happenings. Ever come across problems in life that are seemingly insurmountable? (Like the villagers, do we feel that such problems cannot be solved?). The wise man continued: Add the God Principle in our daily lives and the problems will become lighter and eventually will disappear. In the manner of the ice which, with the addition of the heat principle will turn into water, and that will eventually evaporate as steam and disappear. And how do we add God's name in our daily lives? Through prayers, filled with true love and devotion with sincerity of purpose and dedication that only total faith can bring about. Meditation is a powerful means of directing the mind Godward. But without true love and devotion entering into it, it remains like a boat without water. It is not
difficult to push a boat that is floating in water, but extremely hard to drag the same boat on dry land. In the same way, if our life's boat floats on the waters of true love and devotion, we can sail easily in it. The principle of love of God and devotion with total faith, (like water) makes easy the voyage of our lives. When the mind is pure and the heart full of simplicity and holiness, such a devotee becomes an instrument in the service of the Lord.
A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and ask him for a Phone Call. Shop-owner replied Sweety this is no a STD, but you can do one call. The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation: The boy asked, "Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn? The woman replied, "I already have someone to cut my lawn." "Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now." replied boy. The woman responded that she was very satisfied with the person who was presently cutting her lawn. The little boy found more perseverance and offered, "Lady, I'll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of North-Palm beach, Florida." Again the woman answered in the negative. With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy and said," Son... I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job." The little boy replied, "No thanks, I was just checking my performance with the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady, I was talking to!"
THE WOODCUTTER One day a woodcutter took his grandson into the forest for his first experience in selecting and cutting oak trees. These they would later sell to the boat builders. As they walked along, the woodcutter explained that the purpose of each tree is contained in its natural shape: some are straight for planks, some have the proper curves for the ribs of a boat, and some are tall for masts. The woodcutter told his grandson that by paying attention to the details of each tree, and with experience in recognizing these characteristics, someday he too might become the woodcutter of the forest. A little way into the forest, the grandson saw an old oak tree that had never been cut. The boy asked his grandfather if he could cut it down because it was useless for boat building - there were no straight limbs, the trunk was, short and gnarled, and the curves were going the wrong way. "We could cut it down for firewood," the grandson said. "At least then it will be of some use to us." The woodcutter replied that for now they should be about their work cutting the proper trees for the boat builders; maybe later they could return to the old oak tree. After a few hours of cutting the huge trees, the grandson grew tired and asked if they could stop for a rest in some cool shade. The woodcutter took his grandson over to the old oak tree, where they rested against its trunk in the cool shade beneath its twisted limbs. After they had rested a while, the woodcutter explained to his grandson the necessity of attentive awareness and recognition of everything in the forest and in the world. Some things are readily apparent, like the tall, straight trees; other things are less apparent, requiring closer attention, like recognition of the proper curves in the limbs. And some things might initially appear to have no purpose at all, like the gnarled old oak tree. The woodcutter stated, "You must learn to pay careful attention every day so you can recognize and discover the purpose God has for everything in creation. For it is this old oak tree, which you so quickly deemed useless except for firewood, that now allows us to rest against its trunk amidst the coolness of its shade. "Remember, grandson, not everything is as it first appears. Be patient, pay attention, recognize, and discover."
THE DONKEY The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won. The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered in another race and it won again. The local paper read: PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT. The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in any more races. The next day the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES THE PASTOR'S ASS. This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent. The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline: NUN HAS THE BEST ASS IN TOWN . The Bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey so she sold it to a farmer for $10. The next day the headlines read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10. This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the high plains where it could run free. The next day the headlines read : NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE. Alas... The Bishop was buried the next day. MORAL OF THE STORY??? Being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery and even shorten your life. So, be yourself and enjoy life. Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll live longer.
THE OLD SOCK A wise and saintly rich man, sensing his approaching death, called his son to his side and gave him these instructions: 'My son, I shall be leaving you very shortly. On the day when I die, and they have washed my body and come to wrap it in the shroud, I want you to put one of my socks on my foot.. This is my final request of you.' Soon after this, the old man did indeed die, leaving behind his goods and property, his children and his dependents. Family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours attended his funeral. The body had been washed and was almost completely wrapped in the shroud, when the son remembered his father's wish. Finding one of his old socks, he handed it to the washer of the dead, saying, 'In accordance with my father's last request, please put this sock on his foot.' 'That is quite impossible:' Said the man. 'Such a thing is utterly impermissible in Hindu religion. I cannot act against the Sacred Law..' Despite this valid objection, the son insisted, 'That was my father's final request; it must certainly be carried out.' The washer of the dead was unmoved. 'If you won't take my word for it,' he said, 'go and ask the Elderman.. He will confirm what I tell you, that it is not permissible. ' Holding up the funeral, they consulted the elderman,religeous head and scholars, all of whom declared that this was not permissible in Hindu. Just then, an aged friend of the deceased interrupted the debate with these words to the son: 'My boy, your late father entrusted me with a letter which I was to hand over to you after his departure. Here, this letter belongs to you.' So saying, he gave him an envelope. Taken by surprise, the boy opened the envelope and read out the contents of his father's letter. 'My son, all this wealth and property I have left to you. Now you see: at the last moment, they won't even let you give me an old sock to wear. When you yourself come one day to be in my condition they will also refuse to let you keep anything . Naked body that all you will be able to carry over from this fleeting world into the Hereafter. So pull yourself together and be prepared. Spend the fortune I have left you, not for the satisfaction of vain desires, but in ways pleasing to Almighty, that you may achieve honor in both worlds.'
What beautiful advice and guidance for those who can understand!
There was this guy who believed very much in true love and decided to take his time to wait for his right girl to appear. He believed that there would definitely be someone special out there for him, but none came. Every year at Christmas, his ex-girlfriend would return from Vancouver to look him up. He was aware that she still held some hope of re-kindling the past romance with him. He did not wish to mislead her in any way. So he would always get one of his girl friends to pose as his steady whenever she came back. That went on for several years and each year, the guy would get a different girl to pose as his romantic interest. So whenever the ex-girlfriend came to visit him, she would be led into believing that it was all over between her and the guy. The girl took all those rather well, often trying to casually tease him about his different girlfriends, or so, as it seemed! In fact, the girl often wept in secret whenever she saw him with another girl, but she was too proud to admit it. Still, every Christmas, she returned, hoping to rekindle some form of romance. But each time, she returned to Vancouver feeling disappointed. Finally she decided that she could not play that game any longer. Therefore, she confronted him and professed that after all those years, he was still the only man that she had ever loved. Although the guy knew of her feelings for him, he was still taken back and have never expected her to react that way. He always thought that she would slowly forget about him over time and come to terms that it was all over between them. Although he was touched by her undying love for him and wanted so much to accept her again, he remembered why he rejected her in the first place-she was not the one he wanted. So he hardened his heart and turned her down cruelly. Since then, three years have passed and the girl never return anymore. They never even wrote to each other. The guy went on with his life… still searching for the one but somehow deep inside him, he missed the girl. On the Christmas of 1995, he went to his friend’s party alone. “Hey, how come all alone this year? Where are all your girlfriends? What happened to that Vancouver babe who joins you every Christmas?”, asked one of his friend. He felt warm and comforted by his friend’s queries about her, still he just surged on. Then, he came upon one of his many girlfriends whom he once requested to pose as his steady. He wanted so much to ignore her ….. not that he was impolite, but because at that moment, he just didn’t feel comfortable with those girlfriends anymore. It was almost like he was being judged by them. The girl saw him and shouted across the floor for him. Unable to avoid her, he went up to acknowledge her. “Hi… how are you? Enjoying the party?” the girl asked. “Sure… yeah!”, he replied.
She was slightly tipsy… must be from the whiskey on her hand. She continued, “Why…? Don’t you need someone to pose as your girlfriend this year?” Then he answered, “No, there is no need for that anymore…” Before he can continue, he was interrupted, “Oh yes! Must have found a girlfriend! You haven’t been searching for one for the past years, right?” The man looked up, as if he has struck gold, his face beamed and looked directly at the drunken girl. He replied, “Yes… you are right! I haven’t been looking for anyone for the past years.” With that, the man darted across the floor and out the door, leaving the lady in much bewilderment. He finally realized that he has already found his dream girl, and she was… the Vancouver girl all along! The drunken lady has said something that awoken him. All along he has found his girl. That was why he did not bother to look further when he realized she was not coming back. It was not any specific girl he was seeking! It was perfection that he wanted, and yes… perfection! Relationship is something both parties should work on. Realizing that he had let away someone so important in his life, he decided to call her immediately. His whole mind was flooded with fear. He was afraid that she might have found someone new or no longer had the same feelings anymore… For once, he felt the fear of losing someone. As it was Christmas eve, the line was quite hard to get through, especially an overseas call. He tried again and again, never giving up. Finally, he got through…. precisely at 1200 midnight. He confessed his love for her and the girl was moved to tears. It seemed that she never got over him! Even after so long, she was still waiting for him, never giving up. He was so excited to meet her and to begin his new chapter of their lives. He decided to fly to Vancouver to join her. It was the happiest time of their lives! But their happy time was short-lived. Two days before he was supposed to fly to Vancouver, he received a call from her father. She had a head-on car collision with a drunken driver. She passed away after 6 hours in a coma. The guy was devastated, as it was a complete loss. Why did fate played such cruel games with him? He cursed the heaven for taking her away from him, denying even one last look at her! How cruel he cursed! How he damned the Gods…!! How he hated himself… for taking so long to realize his mistake!! That was in 1996. Moral: Treasure what you have… Time is too slow for those who wait, Too swift for those who fear, Too long for those who grief, Too short for those who rejoice, But for those who love… Time is Eternity. For all you out there with someone special in your heart, cherish that person, cherish every moment that you spend together that special someone, for in life, anything can happen anytime. You may painfully regret, only to realize that it is too late.
GOD'S DELAY IS NOT A DENIAL Once there was a small kid on earth. One fine day it came to know that god is distributing apples to humans in his place at heaven. The kid was so happy to receive that news and it went with lot of enjoyment to heaven to get the apple from god. There was a big queue standing to get apple from god and this kid also joined in that queue. While it was standing, it was fully excited and thrilled for the fact that it is going to receive in person from god's hands. Its turn too came and the kid showed its both the hands to receive apple. God gave the apple but unfortunately the tiny hands couldn't hold that big apple. Apple fell down and got wasted in mud. The kid got so disappointed. The ministers near the god informed that if the kid likes to have an apple from god again then it has to again follow the queue. Having waited for so long the kid didn't want to return back to earth with empty hands so it decided to wait again in the queue. This time the queue has become even longer than the previous one. While waiting in queue, the kid could see lot of people who returns back with apple in hands and utmost satisfaction on their faces. The kid was so much disappointed and thought why me alone didn't get the apple in hand when all others were easily able to get it. What is the sin I did that I alone should suffer like this. Now the kid was so scared that it should not miss the apple again. Again its turn came and god gave the apple to the kid's hands and after giving the apple god spoke to the kid. "My dear child, last time after giving you the apple only I noticed the apple I gave to you was a rotten apple and that's why I made that to fell down from your hands. Having given you a rotten apple, I felt bad for you and I wanted to give you the best apple in the farm and that time the best apple in the farm
was growing and that's why I made you to wait such a long time in the queue. Here it is. Now the apple that you have in hand is 'The Best' apple in the farm till to date. Enjoy." So, sometimes it happens as even after we put our 100% dedication and commitment things may get delayed or things may go wrong. Believe that god has something great for us and that's why this has happened. Always say, 'Gratitude is absolutely the best way to bring more in one's life'. Believe this and see the world... Your world will also look green..
FACING RIVER OF DIFFICULTIES A very tired traveler came to the banks of a river. There was no bridge by which he could cross. It was winter, and the surface of the river was covered with ice. It was getting dark, and he wanted to reach the other side while there was enough light to see. He debated about whether or not the ice would bear his weight. Finally, after much hesitation and fear, he got down on his knees and began very cautiously to creep across the surface of the ice. He hoped that by disturbing the weight of his body, the ice would be less apt to break under the load. After he made his slow and painful journey about halfway across the river, he suddenly heard the sound of singing behind him. Out of the dusk, there came a 4-horse load of coal driven by a man singing merrily as he went to his carefree way. Here was the traveler, fearfully inching his way on his hands and knees. And there, as if whisked along by the winter’s wind, went the driver, his horses, his sled, and the heavy load of coal over the same river! The story illustrates how many of us go through life. Some stand on the bank of decisions unable to make up their minds about the course to take. Others stand on the banks trying to muster enough courage to cross over to the other side of the task or problem encountered. On the other hand, some individuals crawl and creep through life for fear of thin ice. Their faith is not strong enough to hold them up. Still there are those who whisked along whistling as they go. Their faith is UNSHAKABLE. When we face the river of difficulties, we do not have to fear, nor do we creep through life. God has promised to help, and with God’s help we can merrily make our way to the other side safely.
I CAN SLEEP WHEN THE WIND BLOWS Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic . They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic , wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received A steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him. "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, Hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work. Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows." Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he also returned to his bed to sleep while the wind blew. When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?
IMPENETRABLE SHIELD AND PIERCING SWORD An armorer of London boldly claims to make the best spears and shields. "My shields are so strong; they cannot be penetrated by any weapon," he said. "My spears are so sharp; they can pierce any shield," he further said. A man asks, "If your spear is thrown at your shield, what then?" The armorer had no reply. By logic, both an impenetrable shield and an all-piercing spear can not exist at the same time. Moral of the story: Careful about the logic in any story.
BLIND MAN AND THE SUN
Once upon a time, there was a blind man who does not know what the Sun is. So he asks other people to explain. One man said, "The Sun is shaped like a copper plate." So the blind man banged on a copper plate, and listened to its clanging sound. Later when he heard the sound of a temple bell, he thought that must be the Sun. Another man said,"The Sun gives out light just like a candle." So the blind man hold a candle to feel its shape. Later when he picked up a flute, he thought that this must be the Sun. Yet we know that he Sun is vastly different from a bell or a flute; but a blind man does not understand the differences, because he has never seen the Sun and only heard it described. Just like that matters introduced by others and seen and felt by oneself is different.
WHOM TO BLAME
Boy was born to a couple after eleven years of marriage. They were a Loving couple and the boy was the gem of their eyes. When the boy was Around two years old, one morning the husband saw a medicine bottle Open. He was late for office so he asked his wife to cap the bottle and keep It in the cupboard. His wife, preoccupied in the kitchen totally forgot The matter. The boy saw the bottle and playfully went to the bottle fascinated by Its colour and drank it all. It happened to be a poisonous medicine Meant for adults in small dosages. When the child collapsed the mother Hurried him to the hospital, where he died. The mother was stunned. She Was terrified how to face her husband. When the distraught father came to the hospital and saw the dead child , He looked at his wife and uttered just five words.
QUESTIONS: 1. What were the five words? 2. What is the implication of this story?
The husband just said "I am with you Darling" The husband's totally unexpected reaction is a proactive behaviour.
The Child is dead. He can never be brought back to life. There is no point In finding fault with the mother. Besides, if only he had taken time to Keep the bottle away, this would not have happened. No one is to be blamed. She had also lost her only child. What she Needed at that moment was consolation and sympathy from the husband. That is what he gave her. If everyone can look at life with this kind of perspective, there would Be much fewer problems in the world. "A journey of a thousand miles Begins with a single step." Take off all your envies, jealousies, Unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. And you will find things are Actually not as difficult as you think. MORAL OF THE STORY Sometimes we spend time in asking who is responsible or whom to blame, Whether in a relationship, in a job or with the people we know. By this Way we miss out some warmth in human relationship.
THE HOUSE OF 1000 MIRRORS
Long ago in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often." In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again." All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?
WHY DO WE SHOUT IN ANGER
A saint asked his disciples, 'Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?' Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, 'Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.' 'But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you?' asked the saint. 'Isn't it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you're angry?' Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint. Finally he explained, 'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.' Then the saint asked, 'What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small...' The saint continued, 'When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.'
MORAL: When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return, not to shout.
The Traveller and the Monk Story One day a traveller was walking along a road on his journey from one village to another. As he walked he noticed a monk tending the ground in the fields beside the road. The monk said "Good day" to the traveller, and the traveller nodded to the monk. The traveller then turned to the monk and said "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?". "Not at all," replied the monk. "I am travelling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it is like in the village in the valley?" "Tell me," said the monk, "What was your experience of the village in the mountains?" "Dreadful," replied the traveller, "to be honest I am glad to be away from there. I found the people most unwelcoming. When I first arrived I was greeted coldly. I was never made to feel part of the village no matter how hard I tried. The villagers keep very much to themselves, they don't take kindly to strangers. So tell me, what can I expect in the village in the valley?" "I am sorry to tell you," said the monk, "but I think your experience will be much the same there". The traveller hung his head despondently and walked on. A while later another traveller was journeying down the same road and he also came upon the monk. "I'm going to the village in the valley," said the second traveller, "Do you know what it is like?" "I do," replied the monk "But first tell me - where have you come from?" "I've come from the village in the mountains." "And how was that?" "It was a wonderful experience. I would have stayed if I could but I am committed to travelling on. I felt as though I was a member of the family in the village. The elders gave me much advice, the children laughed and joked with me and people were generally kind and generous. I am sad to have left there. It will always hold special memories for me. And what of the village in the valley?" he asked again. "I think you will find it much the same" replied the monk, "Good day to you". "Good day and thank you," the traveller replied, smiled, and journeyed on.
EGG BREAKS DUE TO OVERCONFIDENCE………
Once upon a time there was a young man named Bankelal. He was just another next door guy with great learning ability. One very fortunate day he was giving a helping hand to her mother in kitchen suddenly an egg dropped down from his hand. But a strange event followed as egg did not break. As the young man was watching every event carefully he noticed that the egg had collision with floor normal to its longitudinal axis. He tried to repeat this event and he mastered the art of normal collision so that egg did not break even after falling from some considerable height. The boy started to perform his trick in public and positioned himself as a magician. Slowly words of mouth did their work the news of that magician reached to King. King’s courtiers misinterpreted the issue and sighted the boy as threat to the kingdom. In the influence of his courtiers the king summoned the boy to court and ordered him to perform his magic in court. The king also ordered if he performs as courtiers told him, he will marry the princess to him and if he fails he will have to leave the kingdom of king. The boy was not only confident about his mastery of trick, in fact he was overconfident about his art and his newly acquired popularity also made him arrogant too. He accepted the challenge. He appeared in court on scheduled time. As he was overconfident about his art and the greed of marrying with princess made him careless. He picked the egg dropped it with great carelessness and egg dropped, collided with floor and his arrogance did its part of job and egg broke. Finally the young man with a lot of great quality was out of the kingdom of that king just due to his overconfidence.
"SO BE CONFIDENT.....BUT DON'T BE OVER CONFIDENT...."
TWO ACORNS If you want to understand adversity, take two identical acorns from the same oak tree and plant them in two different locations. Plant the first in the middle of a dense forest, and the other on a hill by itself. Here's what will happen. The oak standing on a hillside is exposed to every storm and gale. As a result its roots plunge deep into the earth and spread in every direction, even wrapping themselves around giant boulders. At times it may seem the tree isn't growing fast enough - but the growth is happening under ground. It's as if the roots know they must protect the tree from the threatening elements. What about the acorn planted in the forest? It becomes a weak, frail sapling having to compete with giant oaks for nutrients and space. And since it is protected by its neighbors, the little oak doesn't sense the need to spread its roots for support. Don't be afraid of adversity welcome it! That's your sure-fire route to ultimate success.
ARE WE LOOKING FOR SNAILS? Some herons were sitting by the side of a boggy pond. A swan happened to pass by, while a heron asked the swan, "Why are your eyes, face and toes etc. of red color? Who are you?" The swan replied, "I am a swan". The heron, "Where do you come from? The swan, "From the lake Manas Sarovar" The heron, "What are the things over there?" The swan, "There is a garden of golden lotuses. The water of the beautiful lake is nectarine. All around it there are various types of trees and plants of fruits and flowers, beautifully arranged on jewelbedecked platforms. We can take you there, if you like to." The heron, "Are there any big-size snails?" The swan, "No" At this, the herons ridiculed the swan in big laughter and said, " Oh damn it! When there are no snails, we can't consider that to be a lake! No one should bother to approach there."
This is the real irony with all of us. If we are offered with something nice and far better than what we are using, we don't get inclined to accept it, as we are very much attached to what we have been using. The material attachment has paved its way, very deep in our heart, but the dilemma is that, we have to take leave from all these material things in the coming future. They are not our permanent companion
PEACE OF MIND Once BUDDHA was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.” The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha. Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be…. and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.” What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘Peace of Mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process! Also remember that you could be in very peaceful surroundings, where everything is wonderfully beautiful, but if you’re inside is disturbed, then that beauty is of no use to you. It does not mean anything to you. For you to be peaceful, peace has to be generated from deep within you - from your being to the mind, and from the mind to the environment.
When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and in the environment, such that people around start feeling that peace and grace.
THE EAGLE AND THE OYSTER Once there were two eggs discussing what they wanted to be when they hatched. The first egg said, “I want to be an oyster when I hatch. An oyster just lay in the water and never has to make any decisions. The currents of the ocean move it about, so it doesn’t have to plan. The ocean water passing by brings its food. Whatever the ocean provides is what the oyster receives, no more, no less.” The first egg continued, “That’s the life for me. It may be limited, but there are no decisions and no responsibilities. There is a secured existence controlled only by the ocean.” The second egg said, “That’s not the life for me. I wish to be an eagle. An eagle is free to go where it wants and to do as it pleases. Of course it is responsible for hunting its own food and making survival decisions, but it is also free to fly as high as the mountains.” The second egg continued, “The eagle is in control, instead of being controlled by others. I want no limits placed on me, nor do I want to be a slave of the ocean. Consequently, I am willing to expend the effort required to live the life of an eagle.”
SUCCESS PRINCIPLES The eagle is a symbol of strength, speed, height, and freedom. It is able to soar to great heights and have a beautiful view of the world. However, the eagle has to
pay the price for what benefits it has, by having to work, risk and fight for its survival. For freedom and success there is always a price to pay. Of course to play it save we can choose to take the course of action of the oyster to be in our comfort zone and achieve nothing.
IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE A young man, a student in one of our universities, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students' friend, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions. As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day's work. The student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them." "My young friend," answered the professor, "we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of the poor man. Put a coin into each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how the discovery affects him." The student did so, and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes. While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes; but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it round, and looked at it again and again. He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin. His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom the timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing. The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. "Now," said the professor, "are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?"
The youth replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of those words, which I never understood before: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."
BURN THE BRIDGES A long time ago there was a great General who was faced with a situation which made it necessary for him to make a drastic decision to insure his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his army on shore to face a powerful enemy, whose men outnumbered his. He loaded his soldiers into boats, and sailed to face the enemies on shore. When they reached the shore, he ordered them to unload the soldiers and cargoes. He then ordered for all the ships and boats to be burned. Addressing his men before the battle, he said, “You see the ships and boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now, have no choice – either we win, or we perish.” They WON! SUCCESS PRINCIPLES Just like the General, we have to burn all our bridges if we want to achieve success. There can be no room for retreat and we must have an attitude of, “Whatever it takes”, taking into consideration that we can have anything we desire provided we do not violate Universal Laws and the rights of our fellow human beings. Do not dwell on the past. Move forward with confidence and we will surely see success, unexpected in common hours.
IS THE SUN FARTHER AWAY IN THE MORNING? An Argument about the Sun When Confucius was traveling in the eastern part of the country, he came upon two children hot in argument, so he asked them to tell him what it was all about. "I think," said one child, "that the sun is near to us at daybreak and far away from us at noon." The other contended that the sun was far away at dawn and nearby at midday. "When the sun first appears," said one child, "it is as big as the canopy of a carriage, but at noon it is only the size of a plate or a bowl. Well, isn't it true that objects far away seem smaller while those nearby seem bigger?" "When the sun comes out," pointed out the other, "it is very cool, but at midday it is as hot as putting your hand in boiling water. Well, isn't it true that what is nearer to us is hotter and what is farther off is cooler?" Confucius was unable to settle the matter for them. The two children laughed at him, "Who says you are a learned man?"
GOLD WRAPPING PAPER The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her five year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and then said, "This is for you, Momma." The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty. She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner. "Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?" She had tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Momma, it's not empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full." The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and she begged her forgiveness for her thoughtless anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later, and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life. Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there. In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and GOD. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
FREE FOOD There was a village that was attacked by wild boars. Everyday the wild boars would enter the village to rampage the whole village of their food. The villagers tried various means to fight and chase away the wild boars, but without much success. One day a wise man approached the village headman to offer his advice. He told the villagers that they will have to follow all his advice and directions. Out of desperation, the villagers agreed. The wise man told the villagers to gather all the food from every household and put it in the middle of a big empty field. They followed his advice, and immediately they saw hundreds of wild boars approaching the vicinity where the food was placed. The wild boars were apprehensive initially, but after a while they went for the food. Once the wild boars had a taste of the food they came back for the free food everyday. And everyday the villagers would put more food in the field and the wild boars would come to have their free meals. After a while, the wise man asked the villagers to erect four poles at the fourcorners of the field. The wild boars were too busy having their food that they did not take notice of what was happening. After a few weeks, the wild boars developed the habit of having free food. The wise man then asked the villagers to put fencing around the field, with a large gate through which the wild boars can enter to have their food. Finally once the fencing and the gate were completed the villagers closed the gate and
all the wild boars were trapped inside the field. The wild boars were finally defeated!
HOW POOR WE ARE? One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, 'How was the trip?' 'It was great, Dad.' 'Did you see how poor people live?' the father asked. 'Oh yeah,' said the son. 'So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?' asked the father The son answered: 'I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.' The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, 'Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.' Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have. Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends! 'Life is too short and friends are too few.'
PROBLEM IS WITH IN US... A man feared his wife wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem. The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss. Here's what you do," said the Doctor, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and s o on until you get a response. "That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens." then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?" No response. So the husband moves to closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?" Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, Honey, what's for dinner?" Again he gets no response, so he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. "Honey, what's for dinner?" Again there is no response. So he walks right up behind her. "Honey, what's for dinner?" ;;;; "James, for the FIFTH time I've said, CHICKEN!"
Moral of the story: The problem may not be with the other one as we always think, could be very much within us ..! Why do we shout in anger?
LOVE AND ANGER While a man was polishing his new car, his 4 yr old son picked stone & scratched lines on the side of the car. In anger, the man took the child's hand & hit it many times, not realizing he was using a wrench. At the hospital, the child lost all his fingers due to multiple fractures. When the child saw his father....with painful eyes he asked 'Dad when will my fingers grow back?' Man was so hurt and speechless. He went back to car and kicked it a lot of times. Devastated by his own actions...... sitting in front of that car he looked at the scratches, child had written 'LOVE YOU DAD'. The next day that man committed suicide. . . Anger and Love have no limits, Choose the latter to have a beautiful & lovely life .... Things are to be used and people are to be loved, but the problem in today's world is that, People are used and things are loved.......
RICHEST MAN IN THE VALLEY A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by. Hans said, 'I was just thanking God for my food.' Carl protested, 'If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn't feel like giving thanks.' Hans replied, 'God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.' The old farmer added, 'It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, 'The richest man in the valley will die tonight.' I don't know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.' Carl snorted, 'Dreams are nonsense,' and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans' words: 'The richest man in the valley will die tonight.' He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, 'Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.' Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man's dream. At about nine o'clock, a messenger arrived at Carl's door. 'What is it?' Carl demanded. The messenger explained, 'It's about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.' Being rich has nothing to do with money or possessions. But it has everything to do with having a relationship with God.
THE PATIENT POOR MAN There was a rich old noble who lived in a great palace. There also lived nearby a poor man in a dilapidated hut, who subsisted on crumbs of food cast away by others. But he was ever cheerful, and never complained of his ill-luck. Once it so happened that the poor man had nothing to eat for a long while. So he went to the rich noble for help. The old noble received him kindly and asked what for he had come. The poor man said that for days he had nothing to eat and that he would be happy if he was given some food. "Is that all!" said the noble."Come, sit down!" Then he called-out; "Boy! A very important guest has come to dine with me. Ask the chief to make ready the dinner at once, and bring some water to wash our hands." The poor man was surprised. He had heard that the noble was a very kind man, but he did not expect such a ready welcome. He was all praise about his host. The noble at once interrupted him and said, "Don't mention it, my friend. Let us sit down for the feast." And the old noble began to rub his hands as if some water was poured on them and asked the poor man why he did not wash his hands. The poor man found no boy or water but decided that he should do what he was told, and so he pretended to wash his hands likewise. "Now let us sit down to dinner," said the noble, and began to
order various delicious dishes. But there was no trace of any food or even a single bearer. Then the noble said to the poor man, "We have such wonderful feast before us. Enjoy yourself, my friend. You must finish all these fine dishes." And the noble pretended to eat from imaginary plates. The poor man was faint with hunger, but kept his wits. He did not allow despair to overcome him. He also pretended to eat from the empty table. The noble now and then exclaimed, "What a delicious soup! The curry is wonderful, isn't it my friend?" The poor man replied, "Sure, sure!" "Then why not have some more," and the noble pretended to dish out some imaginary curry. Likewise, he pressed more and more imaginary dishes on the poor man and asked him if they tasted all right. Though desperately hungry, the poor man thanked his host profusely and said that he had never eaten such a glorious feast in his life. He did not betray a sign of remorse. He kept on maintaining the face cheerfully without the least affectation, as though everything was real. The noble was a generous person. He was a man of charitable disposition. He wanted to test whether the poor man would give way to despair. He had heard of his reputation that he never lost patience. He thought that such a contented, cheerful person as this poor man should not starve and suffer from poverty. But he had his doubts. So he himself wanted to test him. Now he found that, all that was said about him was true. The noble then clapped his hands and a retinue of servants came in with all the delicious dishes he had been mentioning. An elaborate dinner was laid on the table. This time the poor man did not have to pretend. He now ate heartily with the noble.
After they had finished their meals, the noble said, "Friend, you are a man of infinite patience. You know well how to make best of everything and bear adversity cheerfully. You are the man I was looking for to manage one of my farms. You should live with me hereafter." Thereupon the poor man did not have to suffer any more from poverty. This story has several lessons for the common man to learn. When the poor man went to the rich man, he did not ask for any charity so that he might dispense with begging for some days. This shows that he was not greedy. He lived in the present. He wanted some food and he asked for only that. Now, if he had asked for some money, he would have got it, and would have spent it in a few days, only to revert back to his former poverty. He did not ask any more than what he needed immediately, and this paved the way for his good luck in being employed in the rich man's farm. When the poor man was harassed by his host with imaginary dishes, he did not lose his patience in spite of his extreme hunger. If he had done so, he would have been asked to get out and would have lost his dinner as well as his unforeseen appointment. He did not either complain about his ill-luck or bewail his misfortune as an ordinary beggar would have done before a rich man. Hence the moral is that one must be patient and make the best of everything. One should learn to bear adversity cheerfully, do one's best, pray to God, and trust in His grace. One should never complain about one's misfortune. One must learn how to master courage and build one's destiny through self-
THE DIFFERENCE Some years ago, three brothers left the farm to work in the city. They were all hired by the same company at the same pay. Three years later, Jim was being paid $500 a month, Frank was receiving $1,000, but George was now making $1,500. Their father decided to visit the employer. He listened to the confused father and said, "I will let the boys explain for themselves." Jim was summoned to the supervisor's office and was told, "Jim, I understand the Far East Importers has just brought in a large transport plane loaded with Japanese import goods. Will you please go over to the airport and get a cargo inventory?" Three minutes later, Jim returned to the office. "The cargo was one thousand bolts of Japanese silk," Jim reported. "I got the information over the telephone from a member of the crew." When Jim left, Frank, the $1,000 a month brother, was called. "Frank," said the supervisor, "I wish you'd go out to the airport and get an inventory of the cargo plane which was just brought in by Far
East Importers." An hour later, Frank was back in the office with a list showing that the plane carried 1,000 bolts of Japanese silk, 500 transistor radios, and 1,000 hand painted bamboo trays. George, the $1,500 a month brother, was given identical instructions. Working hours were over when he finally returned. "The transport plane carried one thousand bolts of Japanese silk," he began. "It was on sale at sixty dollars a bolt, so I took a two-day option on the whole lot. I have wired a designer in New York offering the silk at seventy-five dollars a bolt. I expect to have the order tomorrow. I also found five hundred transistor radios, which I sold over the telephone at a profit of $2.30 each. There were a thousand bamboo trays, but they were of poor quality, so I didn't try to do anything with them." When George left the office, the employer smiled. "You probably noticed," he said, "that Jim doesn't do what he's told, Frank does only what he'd told, but George does without being told."
"I WISH YOU ENOUGH" Recently I overheard a Father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, 'I love you, and I wish you enough.' The daughter replied, 'Dad, our life together has been more than enough Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.' They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?' 'Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a for ever good-bye?'. 'I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' he said.
'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?' He began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone...' He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory. I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting. I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good- bye. He then began to cry and walked away. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them. Only if you wish send this to the people you will never forget and remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you. If you don't send it to anyone it may mean that you are in such a hurry that you have forgotten your friends.
THE HAIR CUT A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said to him, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little, and get your hair cut, then we will talk about it."
A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said, "Son, I'm real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your bible diligently, but you didn't get a hair cut!" The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know dad, I've been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair." His father replied, "Yes son, and they walked everywhere they went!"
GOD HAD GIVEN THE DUCKS WINGS WITH WHICH TO FLY A parable is told of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church one Sunday to hear their duck preacher. After they waddled into the duck sanctuary, the service began and the duck preacher spoke eloquently of how God had given the ducks wings with which to fly. He pounded the pulpit with his beak and said, “With these wings, there is nowhere we ducks can not go! ”There is no God-given task we ducks cannot accomplish! ”With these wings we no longer need walk through life. We can soar high in the sky!”
Shouts of “Amen!¨ were quacked throughout the duck congregation. The duck preacher concluded his message by exclaiming, “With our wings we can fly through life! WE CAN FLY!!!!¨ More ducks quacked out loud “AMEN!” in response. Every duck loved the service. In fact all the ducks that were present commented on what a wonderfully convicting message they had heard from their duck preacher....and then they left the church and waddled all the way home. Too often we waddle away from worship the same way we waddled in....unchanged.
THE TAILOR'S NEEDLE A tailor was at work. He took a piece of cloth and with a pair of shining, costly, scissors, he cut the cloth into various bits. Then he put the pair of scissors at his feet. Then he took a small needle and thread and started to sew the bits of cloth, into a fine shirt. When the spell of sewing was over, he stuck the needle on to his turban. The tailor’s son who was watching it asked him: "Father, the scissors are costly and look so beautiful. But you throw them down at your feet. This needle is worth almost nothing; you can get a dozen for a cent. Yet, you place it carefully on your head itself. Is there any reason for this illogical behaviour?"
"Yes, my son. The scissors have their function, no doubt; but they only cut the cloth into bits. The needle, on the contrary, unites the bits and enhances the value of the cloth. Therefore, the needle to me is more precious and valuable. The value of a thing depends on its utility, son, not on its cost-price or appearance." Similarly, there are two classes of people in the world-those who create dissensions and disharmony, who separate man from man; and those who bring about peace and harmony, who unite people. * The former are generally the rich people, powerful politicians and kings; the latter are generally the poor devotees of God, the penniless wandering monks, and mendicants. The Lord makes use of both to carry on his function of providing the field for the evolution of individual souls. He throws down on the dust the mighty kings and millionaires who create wars and disharmony; and He keeps the poor, pious devotee over His own head. In His eyes the scale of values is entirely different!
THE CART HORSE & THE DONKEY Once upon a time there were two cart-horses. They worked together for many years, pulling the cart of a peasant. Over the years, they often argued with each other, complaining that the other was not keeping to its side, or was going just a little too quickly or just a little too slow. One day, one of the two horses suddenly died. The remaining horse was very upset about this.
It realized that in all the time that they had worked together, it had not once told the other horse how much it valued its company and its faithful help in pulling the cart. Now the chance was gone forever. The horse also reflected on all the squabbles they had had. It suddenly understood that it need not have taken offence as easily as it had done, that it need not have borne as many grudges, that it could have been less arrogant, in short, it realized that it had wasted all the energy that had been available for friendship and kindness on unworthy and unnecessary thoughts and emotions. The horse was ashamed and resolved to lead a different life in future. Whoever its new partner was going to be, things were going to be different. But time passed, and the horse forgot. One day, it caught itself in exactly the same kind of behavior that it had sworn never to engage in again. The horse could not understand why it had returned to its old ways. That evening, in the stable, the horse decided to seek out the peasant's donkey, which had a reputation for wisdom among the animals. The donkey listened to the horse's story. Eventually, it replied. "It is good that you have noticed what has happened. If you truly want to change, this is possible; but it will, for a long time, cost you your peace of mind. Are you prepared to accept this?" The horse replied that it definitely did not want to return to its old ways. Anything was better than that. So the donkey continued, "There is one very simple, and at the same time very hard thing that you have to do. Remember every day that one day, perhaps today, perhaps many years from now, you will die. Remember every day that the horse next to you will die. Remember every day that every other creature you will see, will one day die. Remember that all animals alive today are part of a wave, which will soon break and be lost on the beach forever, to be followed by a new wave, and another, and another. No wave is permanent. The only thing that is permanent is the ocean." There were tears in the horse's eyes. The donkey continued, "Only if you remember death will you become strong-willed and alert enough not to postpone love. This is my advice to you, and in following it, perhaps one day you may come to know that which is deathless."
GOD DOESN'T EXIST.
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists." "Why do you say that?"asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists,would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine loving a God who would allow all of these things." The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and un-kept. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist." "How can you say that?"asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber.And I just worked on you!" "No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside." "Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me." "Exactly!"- affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."
THE PERFECT HEART One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart. Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said,
"Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared -- how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought? The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears." "Yes," said the old man, "yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges -- giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?" The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, But not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.
GOOD CORN There was a farmer who grew superior quality and award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won honour and prizes. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learnt something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.
"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked. "Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn." The farmer gave a superb insight into the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbour's corn also improves. So it is in other dimensions! Those who choose to be at harmony must help their neighbours and colleagues to be at peace, those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. If we are to grow good quality corn, we must help our neighbors grow good quality corn too....
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