inspirational

Change

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

unknown monk (1100AD)

Wealth

There was a boy, whose family was very wealthy. One day his father took him on a trip to the country, where he aimed to show his son, how poor people live.

So they arrived to a farm of a very poor family, as he considered. They spent there several days. On their return, the father asked his son, did he like the trip.

Oh, it was great, dad,” the boy replied.

Did you notice how poor people live?

Yeah, I did.“ said the boy.

The father asked his son to tell his impressions of the trip in more details.

Well, we have only one dog and they have four of them. In our garden there is a pool, while they have a river that has no end. We‘ve got expensive lanterns, but they have stars above their heads at night. We have the patio, and they have the whole horizon. We have only a small piece of land, while they have the endless fields. We buy food, but they grow it. We have high fence for protection of our property, but they don‘t need it, as their friends protect them.

The father was stunned. He could not say a word.

Then the boy added: “Thank you, dad, for letting me see how poor we are.

Half

One student asked his wise teacher: What is more important for a person: is it the outer or inner beauty?

In response to that the teacher asked his student: Tell me, if you needed to buy a house, but you only had enough money for a beautiful outside, but a comfortless house, or a poor house, but warm and reliable. What would you choose?

I would rather choose a simple outside but convenient inside house.

But what if a vain person was buying a house, proud of his position, but not having enough resource to buy a beautiful and cosy house?“, asked the teacher again.

Surely, he would prefer the outer beauty of the house,” answered the student.

I think you are right,” said the teacher and added: “but regardless of your choice, each of you would understand that you are missing beauty or comfort and would seek for it.

So it means that outer and inner beauty is essentially equivalent and valuable only in harmony?” asked Zhao Zeng.

You can say that,” answered the teacher smiling, “but I thought foremost that when possessing a half, you always need to seek for a whole, not losing what you already have. Because a half will always be only a half, despite of how great it would be.

Cocoon

One day a small gap appeared in the cocoon, through which the butterfly had to appear. A boy, who accidentally passed by, stopped and watched how the butterfly was trying to get out of the cocoon. It took a lot of time, the butterfly was trying very hard, and the gap was as little as before. It seemed that the power would leave the butterfly soon.

The boy decided to help the butterfly. He took a penknife and cut the cocoon. The butterfly immediately got out, but its body was weak and feeble, and the wings were barely moving.

The boy continued to watch the butterfly, thinking that now its wings would spread and its would fly. However, that did not happen.

The rest of its life the butterfly had to drag its weak body and wings that weren’t spread. It was unable to fly, because the boy did not realize that an effort to enter through the narrow gap of the cocoon was necessary for the butterfly, so that the life-giving fluid would move from the body to the butterfly’s wings and that the butterfly could fly. Life forced the butterfly to leave its shell hardly, so that it would become stronger and would be able to grow and develop.

If we were allowed to live without meeting difficulties, we would not be viable. Life gives us challenges to make us stronger.

Lakeside

One day, a dull and exhausted by the illnesses and burdens of life, peasant came to the wise man. He sat in front of the wise man, who gave him a heartfelt and warm smile.

The peasant breathed out heavily letting out a wave of mourning. He began complaining about his life, that he has a hard burden that he doesn’t see a bright daylight at all, it’s like one problem falls on his head or the other – they have twisted him between the grindstones so much that he can’t even breathe in some fresh air.

Later, he began blaming all of his relatives, who, in his opinion, were guilty for his misfortunes, whether the circumstances didn’t turn out right for him, or something else.

The wise man listened to him in silence, and when the peasant once again contritely inquired the wise man, why is it so unfair, what should he do and how to find peace, the wise man got up from his seat and invited the peasant to follow him.

They came out of the hut and went to a lakeside, which was not far away and where from time to time flying fishes were jumping, trotting fast above the surface, catching food.The wise man led the peasant to the lakeside and said to him:

Do you see the smoothness of the lake? The depths are full with life. There are fishes that always stay in water, and if suddenly the lake got polluted, they couldn’t see further their own nose, they would hardly recognise where the source of the pollution was, and they would keep swimming in circles. 

“And there are also fishes that got wings and they can rise above the water of the lake, looking at it from the heights of their flight. So this is my advice: instead of complaining about your life, come to this lakeside from time to time, watch the flying fishes and try to understand what I wanted to say to you.

Chasing Happiness

An old man lived in the village. He was one of the most unfortunate people in the world. The whole village was tired of him, he was always gloomy, constantly complained and always was in a bad mood. The longer he lived, the more bile was becoming and the more poisonous were his words. People avoided him, because his misfortune became contagious. It was even unnatural and insulting to be happy next to him. He created the feeling of unhappiness in others.

But one day, when he got eighty years old, an incredible thing happened. Instantly everyone heard the rumor:

The Old Man is happy today, he doesn’t complain about anything, smiles, and even his face is freshened up.

The whole village gathered together. An old man was asked:

What happened to you?

Nothing special.” he answered. “Eighty years I’ve been chasing happiness and it was useless. And then, I decided to live without happiness and just enjoy life. That is why I am happy now!

Cleaning Turtles

There was once a man who walked his dog every Sunday morning around a lake near his house. Week after week, he saw the same elderly woman sitting at the edge of the water with a small metal cage next to her.

The man’s curiosity finally got the best of him and he approached the woman one day. He noticed that the cage was actually a small trap and she had three small turtles in it. In her lap, there was a fourth turtle that she was carefully wiping down with a sponge.

The man greeted her and said, “If you don’t mind my asking, what do you do with these turtles every week?

She smiled and explained to him that she was cleaning their shells because any algae or scum that builds up on a turtle’s shell reduces its ability to absorb heat and slows down their swimming. It can also corrode their shell and weaken it over time.

The man was impressed as the woman continued, “I do this every Sunday morning to help the turtles.

But don’t most turtles live their entire lives with algae on their shells?” the man asked.

The woman agreed that was true.

He replied, “Well then, you’re kind to do this, but are you really making a difference if most turtles don’t have people around to clean their shells?

The woman laughed as she looked down at the small turtle on her lap. “Young man, if this little turtle could talk, he would say I’m making all the difference in the world.‘”

Puppy Love

A pet shop owner got a new litter of puppies and was ready to sell them to their “forever” families. A young girl walked by the shop and noticed a sign saying, Puppies for Sale” and of course was very eager to go inside.

She asked the owner, “How much do the puppies cost?

The owner replied, “They are all around $50.

The girl emptied her pocket change and told the store owner that she only had about $2, but she still wanted to look at them.

The shop owner whistled for the dogs, who came running down the hall of his shop. Five tiny furballs, followed by one, limping behind the rest. The girl immediately singled out the lagging puppy and asked the store owner what was wrong with him.

The owner explained that the puppy was born with a deformity– he was missing a hip socket. He would walk with a limp for the rest of his life.

The girl got excited, saying, “I want that puppy!

The owner replied, “You don’t want to buy that puppy. If you really want him, you can have him for free.

The girl became upset. She looked at the owner and said, “I don’t want to have him for free. That puppy is worth just as much as the others. I’ll give you the change I have now and a dollar a month until I have paid for the puppy entirely.

The owner continued, “This dog is never going to be able to run and play like all of the other dogs, I think you’re going to regret this decision.

To his surprise, the girl reached down and rolled up her pant leg to reveal a crippled leg that was supported by a large metal brace.  She looked up at the owner and softly replied,

Well, I’m not much of a runner, and this puppy needs someone who understands.

Heaven and Hell

A man spoke with the Lord about Heaven and Hell.

I will show you Hell,” said the Lord.

And they went into a room which had a large pot of stew in the middle. The smell was delicious and around the pot sat people who were famished and desperate. All were holding spoons with very long handles which reached to the pot, but because the handles of the spoons were longer than their arms, it was impossible to get the stew into their mouths. Their suffering was terrible.

Now I will show you Heaven,” said the Lord, and they went into an identical room. There was a similar pot of stew and the people had the same identical spoons, but they were well nourished, talking and happy.

At first the man did not understand.

It is simple,” said the Lord. “You see, they have learned to feed each other.

Seeking

There were 200 people attending a seminar on mental and physical health. At one point, the speaker told the group they were going to do an activity. He gave each attendee one balloon and told them to write their name on it.

Then, the balloons were collected and moved into a very small room. The participants were asked to go into that room and find their balloon within 2 minutes.

It was chaos! People were searching frantically for their balloon, pushing each other and running into one another while they grabbed a balloon, looked at it and inevitably tossed it to the side. At the end of the 2 minutes, no one had found the balloon that had the right name on it!

Then, the speaker asked the participants to go back in the room and pick up one balloon at random, look at the name, and return it to its owner. Within minutes, everyone had been reunited with their original balloon.

The speaker then told the group, “This is what it’s like when people are frantically searching for their own happiness in life. People push others aside to get the things that they want that they believe will bring them happiness. However, our happiness actually lies in helping other people and working together as a community.

Weight

A psychology professor walked around his classroom full of students holding a glass of water with his arm straightened out to the side. He asked his students, “How heavy is this glass of water?

The students started to shout out guesses, ranging anywhere from 4 ounces to one pound.

The professor replied, “The absolute weight of this glass isn’t what matters while I’m holding it. Rather, it’s the amount of time that I hold onto it that makes an impact.

“If I hold it for, say, two minutes, it doesn’t feel like much of a burden. If I hold it for an hour, its weight may become more apparent as my muscles begin to tire. If I hold it for an entire day–or week–my muscles will cramp and I’ll likely feel numb or paralyzed with pain, making me feel miserable and unable to think about anything aside from the pain that I’m in.

“In all of these cases, the actual weight of the glass will remain the same, but the longer I clench onto it, the heavier it feels to me and the more burdensome it is to hold.”

The class understood and shook their heads in agreement.

The professor continued to say, “This glass of water represents the worries and stresses that you carry around with you every day. If you think about them for a few minutes and then put them aside, it’s not a heavy burden to bear. If you think about them a little longer, you will start to feel the impacts of the stress. If you carry your worries with you all day, you will become incapacitated, prohibiting you from doing anything else until you let them go.

Don’t carry your worries around with you everywhere you go, as they will do nothing but bring you down.

Let Go

The following is a very meaningful story which is called “Let Go”, and written by Dr. Billy Graham.

A little child was playing one day with a very valuable vase. He put his hand into it and could not withdraw it. His father, too, tried his best, but all in vain. They were thinking of breaking the vase when the father said, “Now, my son, make one more try. Open your hand and hold your fingers out straight as you see me doing, and then pull.

To their astonishment the little fellow said, “O no, father. I couldn’t put my fingers out like that, because if I did I would drop my penny.

Smile, if you will–but thousands of us are like that little boy, so busy holding on to the world’s worthless penny that we cannot accept liberation.

I beg you to drop the trifle in your heart.

Surrender! Let go!

Step Up!

There was an old mule. One day, accidentally, he fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer has evaluated the situation and thought to himself, that neither the well nor the old mule was worth the efforts to save them. Thus he decided to haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well.

So the farmer called his neighbors and together they started to shovel dirt into the well. The old mule was terrified and hysterical in the beginning. But soon one hopeful idea came to his mind – every time when a shovel of dirt landed on his back, he would shake it off and step up!

He repeated these words to himself again and again: “Shake it off and step up“. This way he could struggle the panic and encourage himself. After some time, the mule had stepped over the well‘s wall. Although terribly tired, he was the winner, he saved his own life. He decided to face his adversity positively and not to give up, and thus he won.

What seemed to bury him, actually saved him, owing to his confidence and restless efforts.

Window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything?

It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window — and that thought now controlled his life.

Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now, there was only silence-deathly silence.

The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away-no works, no fuss.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

Which One?

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?’

Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Don’t Give Up

Once, there was an older man, who was broke, living in a tiny house and owned a beat up car. He was living off of $99 social security checks. At 65 years of age, he decide things had to change. So he thought about what he had to offer. His friends raved about his chicken recipe. He decided that this was his best shot at making a change.

He left Kentucky and traveled to different states to try to sell his recipe. He told restaurant owners that he had a mouthwatering chicken recipe. He offered the recipe to them for free, just asking for a small percentage on the items sold. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Unfortunately, not to most of the restaurants! He heard “no” over 1000 times. Even after all of those rejections, he didn’t give up. He believed his chicken recipe was something special. He got rejected 1009 times before he heard his first “yes“.

With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the way Americans eat chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, was born.

Remember, never give up and always believe in yourself in spite of rejection.

Same Joke

People visit a wise man complaining about the same problems over and over again. One day, he decided to tell them a joke and they all roared with laughter.

After a few minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled.Then he told the same joke for a third time, but no one laughed or smiled anymore.

The wise man smiled and said: “You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always crying about the same problem?‘”

Blame 

One afternoon, a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from a lofty branch.

Just the thing to quench my thirst,” he thought.

Taking a couple of steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. The fox tried again but still failed to reach them.

Finally, giving up, the fox turned his nose up and said, “They’re probably sour anyway,” and walked away.

Peace

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest… perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize?

The King chose the second picture. “Because,” explained the King, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.

Story

This is a story about four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody have done.

Colors

Once upon a time
the colors of the world started to quarrel.
All claimed that they were the best.
The most important.
The most useful.
The favorite.

Green said:

Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees and leaves. Without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.

Blue interrupted:

You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing.

Yellow chuckled:

You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.

Orange started next to blow her trumpet:

I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and papayas. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.

Red could stand it no longer he shouted out:

I am the ruler of all of you. I am blood – life’s blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy.

Purple rose up to his full height:

He was very tall and spoke with great pomp: “I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me! They listen and obey.

Finally Indigo spoke,

Much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination: “Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.

And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak:

You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don’t you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me.

Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands.

The rain continued:

From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The Rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow.

And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a rainbow appears in the sky to let us remember to appreciate one another.

Anger

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.

Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry’, the wound is still there.

Hearing

Two old acquaintances, who hadn’t seen each other for years, were walking down the street together, renewing old times. “Just a minute,” said one, “I think I hear something,” and turning a loose paving stone over he liberated a cricket which was chirping merrily away.

Why, that’s astounding. Of all the people on the street at this hour, hurrying from work, you alone hear the cricket above all the traffic noises.

My friend,” said the first. “I learned a long time ago that people hear in life only what they want to hear. Now, the noise of traffic has neither increased nor decreased in the past few moments, but watch.

And as he finished speaking he let a silver half dollar fall from his pocket to the sidewalk. Everyone within an amazingly large hearing distance stopped and looked around.

The Elephant Rope

A gentleman was walking through an elephant camp, and he spotted that the elephants weren’t being kept in cages or held by the use of chains.

All that was holding them back from escaping the camp, was a small piece of rope tied to one of their legs.

As the man gazed upon the elephants, he was completely confused as to why the elephants didn’t just use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp. They could easily have done so, but instead, they didn’t try to at all.

Curious and wanting to know the answer, he asked a trainer nearby why the elephants were just standing there and never tried to escape.

The trainer replied; when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.

The only reason that the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was that over time they adopted the belief that it just wasn’t possible.

Strength

Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.

Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match.

Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.

No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

Frogs

As a group of frogs was traveling through the woods, two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs crowded around the pit and saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs that there was no hope left for them.

However, the two frogs decided to ignore what the others were saying and they proceeded to try and jump out of the pit.

Despite their efforts, the group of frogs at the top of the pit were still saying that they should just give up. That they would never make it out.

Eventually, one of the frogs took heed to what the others were saying and he gave up, falling down to his death. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die.

He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?

The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

The Blind Girl

There was a blind girl who hated herself purely for the fact she was blind. The only person she didn’t hate was her loving boyfriend, as he was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry him.

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her – now she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her, “now that you can see the world, will you marry me?

The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying:
Just take care of my eyes dear.

too old

Don’t ever grow too old for birthdays,
Fun-things that you used to do,
Don’t give up your dreams because
You feel that they have not come true.

Don’t forget the sound of laughter,
Or the love in someone’s eyes,
Don’t trade memories for pleasures,
All that in a moment dies.

Don’t give up your zest for living,
Saying you are much too old,
Is this what you feel, or is it
Something that you have been told?

There’s a valley deep within us,
Where there is eternal Spring,
Where there is no sound of sorrow,
And the birds forever sing.

Though your gait is not as steady,
Now as once it used to be,
And your vision’s clouding over
Things you used to clearly see,

Do not let the weight of decades,
Turn you into bitter gall,
For with age there comes a wisdom,
That’s a blessing to us all.

Hold your years up like a banner,
Wave it brightly in the sun,
When folks tell you life is over,
Tell them it has just begun.

Obstacle in the Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. He then hid himself and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.

Many people loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

A peasant then came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the stone out of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.

After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.

The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King explaining that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

Wisdom

An old country doctor was celebrated for his wisdom. “Dr. Sage,” a young man asked, “how did you get so wise?

Wasn’t hard,” said the doctor. “I’ve got good judgement. Now, good judgement comes from experience.

He continued, “and experience – well, that comes from having bad judgement.

Tailor

It seems that a man had gone to the tailor to have a suit made cheaply, but when the suit was finished and he went to try it on, it didn’t fit him at all.

Complaining that the jacket was too big in back, the right arm was too long, one pant leg was too short and three buttons were missing, the man was justifiably upset.

No problem,” said the tailor, “just hunch your back, bend your arm, walk with a limp, and stick your fingers through the button holes and you’ll look just fine!

The man contorted his body to fit the suit and feeling duped by the tailor, he left. He had not walked one block when he was approached by a stranger.

Who made that suit for you?” asked the stranger. “I’m in the market for a new suit myself.

Surprised, but pleased at the compliment, the man pointed out the tailor’s shop.

Well, thanks very much,” said the stranger, hurrying off. “I do believe I’ll go to that tailor for my suit. Why, he must be a genius to fit a cripple like you.

Flaws

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his masters house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them and you, too, can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

Optimist

There is a story of identical twins. One was a hope-filled optimist. “Everything is coming up roses!” he would say. The other twin was a sad and hopeless pessimist. He thought that Murphy, as in Murphy’s Law, was an optimist. The worried parents of the boys brought them to the local psychologist.

He suggested to the parents a plan to balance the twins” personalities. “On their next birthday, put them in separate rooms to open their gifts. Give the pessimist the best toys you can afford, and give the optimist a box of manure.

The parents followed these instructions and carefully observed the results.

When they peeked in on the pessimist, they heard him audibly complaining, “I don’t like the color of this computer. I’ll bet this calculator will break. I don’t like this game. I know someone who’s got a bigger toy car than this!

Tiptoeing across the corridor, the parents peeked in and saw their little optimist gleefully throwing the manure up in the air. He was giggling. “You can’t fool me! Where there’s this much manure, there’s gotta be a pony!

Battle

There is a great battle that rages inside me.

One side is the soaring eagle. Everything the eagle stands for is good and true and beautiful and it soars above the clouds. Even though it dips down into the valleys, it lays its eggs on the mountaintops.

The other side of me is the howling wolf. And that raging, howling wolf represents the worst that’s in me. He eats upon my downfalls and justifies himself by his presence in the pack.

Who wins this great battle?

The one I feed.

Slow Down

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain
Slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?

When you ask: How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
Do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time
To call and say, “Hi”?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through the day,
It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower.

Hear the music
Before the song is over.

David L. Weatherford

The Road

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long as I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth,

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim;
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how
way leads onto way I doubted
if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

IF

if you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
but make allowance for their doubting too;
if you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
or being hated don’t give way to hating,
and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

if you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
if you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,
if you can meet with triumph and disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same;
if you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
and stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

if you can make one heap of all your winnings
and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
and lose, and start again at your beginnings,
and never breathe a word about your loss;
if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone,
and so hold on when there is nothing in you
except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”;

if you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
if all men count with you, but none too much;
if you can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
and – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling