Your Plan My Plan His Plan

I loved this one - its a great reminder to have patience and faith and to have absolute trust.

This story may leave you moved beyond words so make sure you move to share it with everyone you know and inspire them too!

Once there was a sweeper in a well known temple and he was very sincere and devoted. Every time he saw thousands of devotees coming to take darshan of the Lord, he thought that the Lord is standing all the time and giving darshan and He must be feeling very tired.

So one day very innocently he asked the Lord whether he can take the place of the Lord for a day so that the Lord can have some relief and rest.

The Deity of Temple replied, "I do not mind taking a break. I will transform you like Myself, but you must do one thing. You must just stand here like Me, smile at everyone and just give benedictions. Do not interfere with anything and do not say anything. Remember you are the deity and you just have faith that I have a master plan for everything.”

The sweeper agreed to this.

The next day the sweeper took the position of the deity and a rich man came and prayed to the Lord.  He offered a nice donation and prayed that his business should be prosperous. While going, the rich man inadvertently left his wallet full of money right there. Now the sweeper in the form of deity could not call him and so he decided to control himself and keep quiet.

Just then a poor man came and he put one coin in the Hundi and said that it was all he could afford and he prayed to the Lord that he should continue to be engaged in the Lord's service. He also said that his family was in dire need of some basic needs but he left it to the good hands of the Lord to give some solution.

When he opened his eyes, he saw the wallet left by the rich man. The poor man thanked the Lord for His kindness and took the wallet very innocently. The sweeper in the form of the Deity could not say anything and he had to just keep smiling.

At that point a sailor walked in. He prayed for his safe journey as he was going on a long trip. Just then the rich man came with the police and said that somebody has stolen his wallet and seeing the sailor there, he asked the police to arrest him thinking that he might have taken it.

Now the sweeper in the form of Deity wanted to say that the sailor is not the thief but he could not say so and he became greatly frustrated.  

The sailor looked at the Lord and asked why he, an innocent person, is being punished. The rich man looked at the Lord and thanked Him for finding the thief. The sweeper in the deity form could no more tolerate and he thought that even if the real Lord had been here, he would have definitely interfered and hence he started speaking and said that the sailor is not the thief but it was the poor man who took away the wallet. The rich man was very thankful as also the sailor.

In the night, the real Lord came and He asked the sweeper how the day was.

The sweeper said, "I thought it would be easy, but now I know that Your days are not easy, but I did one good thing." Then he explained the whole episode to the Lord.

The Lord became very upset on hearing this whereas the sweeper thought the Lord would appreciate him for the good deed done.

The Lord asked, "Why did you not just stick to the plan?

You had no faith in Me. Do you think that I do not understand the hearts of all those who come here? All the donation which the rich man gave was all stolen money and it is only a fraction of what he really has and he wants Me to reciprocate unlimitedly.

The single coin offered by the poor man was the last coin he was having and he gave it to Me out of faith. The sailor might not have done anything wrong, but if the sailor were to go in the ship that night he was about to die because of bad weather and instead if he is arrested he would be in the jail and he would have been saved form a greater calamity.

The wallet should go to the poor man because he will use it in My service. I was going to reduce the rich man's karma also by doing this and save the sailor also. But you cancelled everything because you thought you know My plan and you made your own plans."


As I was passing by the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg.

No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. I saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.
"Well," he said, "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.

"I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn't, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Wise say, “Your attempt may fail, but never fail to make an attempt.”

Polish Yourself

There was a king who was a great admirer of art. One day an artist came and said to the king, “Oh King! Give me a blank wall in your palace and let me paint a picture on it.”

The artist was given the job. Just then, another young man said, “Oh King! Please allow me to work on the opposite wall. I too am an artist.”  The king said, “What would you like to make?” The man said, “My Lord, I shall make exactly what that man will make on the opposite wall. Moreover, I shall do so, without looking at his work. I would even request you to have a thick curtain put up between the two walls so that either of us cannot see the other.”

Everyone in the king’s court, including the king was intrigued. He decided to give the young fellow a chance. The following day a thick curtain was put into place and both the artists got to work. The first artist brought in a regular supply of paint, oil, water etc. The second one worked with some cloth and a bucket of water. After a month the first artist told the king that his work was complete. The king sent for the second artist and asked him, “Young man, when would your work be ready? I am coming to see the first wall this evening.” The man said, “My Lord, my wall is ready too!”

The king went to see the first artist’s wall. He was very, very impressed with the painting and gave a hefty sum as a reward to the artist. He then asked for the curtain to be opened up. Lo and behold! The same painting was to be seen on the opposite wall too! Amazing! But true! Each line, each minor detail was exactly as it was on the first wall. But this man had not been seeing what was going on, on the other side of the curtain. So how had he done it?

The king wanted to know the secret. He gave a double reward to the fellow. Then he said, “Young man, I am indeed very happy with your work. But you must tell me; how did you do it?” 

The lad said simply, “It’s very easy! I just polished the wall every day till it shone like a mirror!” It was a wall made of white marble! The reflection of the painting across the room, showed up in it! 

That is what it means to polish yourself. World is a reflection of you. Whatever you are, the world will seem to be that too. If you are happy, the world will look to be happy. If you are sad; jealous; angry; restless... That is what the world will seem to be to you!

Attitude : The Glass is Always Half Full

A city boy, Raj, moved to the village and bought a donkey from an old farmer for Rs.1000. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry Rajji, but I have some bad news, the donkey died while I was bringing him here."

Raj replied: "Well then, just give me my money back." The farmer said: "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

Raj said: "OK then, just unload the donkey."

The farmer asked: "What you are going to do with him?"

Raj: "I'm going to raffle him off." (Note: To raffle is like lottery - draw lot to a group of people each paying the same amount for a ticket and there is a big prize for the people who win.)

Farmer: "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

Raj: "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."
A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

Raj: "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at Rs. 10 each and made a profit of Rs 4990 with the donkey worth Rs. 1000 as the prize.
Farmer: "Didn't anyone complain?"

Raj: "Just the guy who won. So I gave him back his Rs. 10."

Moral of the story

No situation is so bad that it cannot be turned around. You need to just think hard. So look at your glass always as half full (positive attitude) rather than half empty. Do not lose hope.


A man who had just got married was returning home with his wife . They were crossing a lake in a boat, when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became very much afraid because it seemed hopeless since the boat was small and it seemed that any moment they were going to be drowned. But the man remained silent and was at peace , calm and quiet, as if nothing was happening.

The woman was terrified and trembling and asked, “Are you not afraid ?”. This may be our last moment of life!   Only some miracle can save us; otherwise death is certain.

The man laughed and took the sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled: What was he going to do?  Then he  brought the naked sword close to the woman’s neck almost touching it.

He said, “Are you afraid ?”

She started to laugh and said,”Why should I be afraid? If the sword is in your hands, why I should be afraid? I know you love me.”

“He put the sword back and said, You have got the answer “. I know God Loves us , and the storm is in His hands.

The Marine

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

“Your son is here,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. 

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

“Who was that man?” he asked.

The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.

“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied.

“I never saw him before in my life.”

“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”

The Ultimate Gift Box

Some time ago, a friend of mine punished his 3-year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight, and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy." He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don't you know when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside of it?"

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it;s not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy."

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and begged for forgiveness. My friend told me that he kept that old box by his bed for years. Whenever he was discouraged, he would 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 parents has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

The Scholar and the Ferryman

A scholar of language and grammar undertook a journey. A river had to be crossed. As was the custom in those days, the scholar hired the boat of a waiting ferryman who took people across the river.

During the journey, the scholar asked the ferryman, with obvious pride and mockery, if he knew anything about grammar and the rules of language.

The ferryman simply replied, "I don't."

"Alas!" retorted the rude scholar of grammar, "You have wasted half of your life."

At this, the sailor was terribly hurt and aggrieved. But he kept quiet. Suddenly the boat was extremely nervous in the high waves and gushing water. "Do you know how to swim, learned Sir?" asked the sailor.

"No!" said the scholar.

The ferryman remarked, "Alas! You have wasted your whole life for the boat is sure to capsize in a few minutes."

Moral: A little knowledge cannot lead to great pride.

Always Prefer Open-Ended Questions

While sports fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist capsized his boat. He could swim, but his fear of alligators kept him clinging to the overturned craft. Spotting an old beachcomber standing on the shore, the tourist shouted, "Are there any gators around here?"

"Naw," the man hollered back, "they ain't been around for years!"

Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming leisurely toward the shore.

About halfway there he asked the guy, "How'd you get rid of the gators?"

"We didn't do nothing,'" the beachcomber said.

"Wow," said the tourist.

The beachcomber added, "The sharks got 'em."

Creative Problem Solving

Farmer John lived on a quiet rural highway. But, as time went by, the traffic slowly built up at an alarming rate. The traffic was so heavy and so fast that his chickens were being run over at a rate of three to six a day.

So one day Farmer John called the sheriff's office and said, "You've got to do something about all of these people driving so fast and killing all of my chickens."

"What do you want me to do?" asked the sheriff.

"I don't care, just do something about those crazy drivers!" So the next day he had the county workers go out and erected a sign that said: SLOW--SCHOOL CROSSING

Three days later Farmer John called the sheriff and said, "You've got to do something about these drivers.  The 'school crossing' sign seems to make them go even faster."

So, again, the sheriff sends out the county workers and they put up a new sign: SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY

That really sped them up. So Farmer John called and called and called every day for three weeks. Finally, he asked the sheriff, "Your signs are doing no good. Can I put up my own sign?"

The sheriff told him, "Sure thing, put up your own sign." He was going to let the Farmer John do just about anything in order to get him to stop calling everyday to complain.

The sheriff got no more calls from Farmer John. Three weeks later, curiosity got the best of the sheriff and he decided to give Farmer John a call. "How's the problem with those drivers. Did you put up your sign?"

 "Oh, I sure did. And not one chicken has been killed since then. I've got to go. I'm very busy." He hung up the phone.

The sheriff was really curious now and he thought to himself, "I'd better go out there and take a look at that might be something that WE could use to slow down drivers..."

So the sheriff drove out to Farmer John's  house, and his jaw dropped the moment he saw the sign. It was spray-painted on a sheet of wood:


Moral of the story : There are always simpler ways of fixing complex problems!

The Crow, The Parrot and The Peacock

A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life.

But one day he saw a swan. "This swan is so white," he thought, "and I am so black.

This swan must be the happiest bird in the world."

He expressed his thoughts to the swan. "Actually," the swan replied, "I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colours. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation."

The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, "I lived a very happy lifeuntil I saw a peacock. I have only two colours, but the peacock has multiple colours."

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him.

After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. "Dear peacock," the crow said, "you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet."

The peacock replied, "I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo.

I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere."

Now let us understand this metaphorically.  Much of our unhappiness stems from comparing ourselves with others.  Instead of valuing what we have, we take what we have for granted and start valuing everything else that we dont have or wish to have.  Realize that comparison can only lead to unhappiness just as only expectation can lead to disappointment.

Little Angel

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. She has just turned eight. She particularly detested Curd Rice. My mother and my wife are orthodox, and believe firmly in the 'cooling effects' of Curd Rice! 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?'....

Oh sure, darling'.... 'Promise?'......... 'Promise'.

I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine, and clinched the deal.

'Ask Mom also to give a similar promise', my daughter insisted.

My wife put her hand on Sindu's, muttering 'Promise'. 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 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.'

'No, Dad. I do not want anything else', Sindu said with finality.

'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 your mind?' chorused my mother and wife.

'No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honor 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 self-less real love is!'

Dhyan Chand : One of our Greatest Heroes

Its a real story of an Indian soldier, who faced one of the deadliest Military Leaders, the modern world has seen so far...

It was Berlin Olympics and India had to play the mighty Germany in the Hockey finals. Just before the match the Indian Coach, Pankaj Gupta, got the then Congress Flag in the dressing room. All the players saluted it and sang Vande Mataram, the then National Anthem of India.

When India reached the finals, it was presumed by the Germans that another gold medal was just a matter of time. Germany was presumed to be winner. To boost the morale of his team, the Dictator of Germany, Adolf Hitler himself came to witness the match. By half time India was leading 1-0. The playing conditions were not conducive for India in the second half. Fearing defeat the ground was deliberately wet by the ground staff, which would not suit the sub-standard shoes of Indian players. The captain of Indian team was Dhyan Chand, who was facing difficulty in running with his shoes in the wet ground. Dhyan Chand took his shoes off and started playing barefoot. India won the final and the Gold medal by 8-1, out of which 6 Goals were scored by Dhyan Chand himself.

Hitler, left the stadium in between the match as he could not see his team losing. When Hitler came to know about the magic of Dhyan Chand, he expressed his will to meet Dhyan Chand. Dhyan Chand could not sleep the whole night. The next morning he found Hitler in front of him.Dhyan Chand was numb and so as every body, thinking as to what would follow next in lion's den. Hitler looked at the rotten shoes of Dhyan Chand and asked-
"What else you do?"

Dhyan Chand: I am in Army.

Hitler: What is your rank?

Dhyan Chand: I am Lance Nayak.

Hitler: Come to Germany. I will make you Field Marshal.  

Dhyan Chand was in flux, whether it was an instruction or offer. Breaking his silence of few seconds, Dhyan Chand replied," India is my Country, and I am fine there".  

Not even the Generals of Hitler's Army had audacity to reply back to him. It was then Hitler took his eyes of Dhyan Chand's shoes and said," As you feel good", and walked off.

That was the pride and honour a Lance Nayak of the Indian Army bore in his attitude. Indian Hockey may be in a bad shape today, but Major Dhyan Chand has become immortal. Above all, do the current generation of citizens carry the same pride, even if they are not Dhyan Chand. You can decide for yourself.

Indian Real Life Heroes

Their real life stories are so inspiring that after looking into their achievements, the perception of life takes a different dimension altogether. Unfortunately, the swimming, or any Olympic sport for that matter, does not get due recognition and sponsorship in India due to an insensitive system that continues to be reluctant in providing support to the sports aspirants, but thanks to few individuals and organizations , who come out in the open and provide a platform to the sports enthusiastic aspirants to grow and realize their dreams ,specially the challenged ones who strive to come over their disabilities and often demonstrate exemplary achievements that surprise the normal human beings

Information Please!

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was nothing she did not know. 'Information Please' could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was  visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer.The pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone!

Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlour and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

'Information, please,' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. 'Information.'

'I hurt my finger...' I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

'Isn't your mother home?' came the question.

'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered.

'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked.

'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.'

'Can you open the icebox?' she asked.

I said I could. 'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said the voice.

After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, 'Information Please', and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?'

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.'

Somehow I felt better. 

Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please' 'Information, ' said in the now familiar voice.

'How do I spell fix?' I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialled my hometown operator and said, 'Information Please'.

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 'Information. ' I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please tell me how to spell fix?'

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by now.'

I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said.

'I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?' I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.'

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. 'Please do', she said. 'Just ask for Sally.' Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, 'Information. '

I asked for Sally.

'Are you a friend?' she said.

'Yes, a very old friend,' I answered.

'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.'

Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say your name was Paul?'

'Yes,' I answered. 'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.'

The note said, 'Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean.'

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others! You just never know!

Whose life have you touched today!

Author unknown


A young man wished to marry the farmer's beautiful daughter. He went to the farmer to ask his permission. The farmer looked him over and said,

"Son, go stand out in that field. I'm going to release three bulls, one at a time. If you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, you can marry my daughter."

The young man stood in the pasture awaiting the first bull.

The barn door opened and out ran the biggest, meanest-looking bull he had ever seen. He decided that one of the next bulls had to be a better choice than this one, so he ran over to the side and let the bull pass through the pasture out the back gate.

The barn door opened again. Unbelievable. He had never seen anything so big and fierce in his life. It stood pawing the ground, grunting, slinging slobber as it eyed him. Whatever the next bull was like, it had to be a better choice than this one. He ran to the fence and let the bull pass through the pasture, out the back gate.

The door opened a third time. A smile came across his face. This was the weakest, scrawniest little bull he had ever seen. This one was his bull. As the bull came running by, he positioned himself just right and jumped at just the exact moment. He grabbed... but the bull had no tail!

Life is full of opportunities. Some will be easy to take advantage of, some will be difficult. But once we let them pass (often in hopes of something better), those opportunities may never again be available. So always grab the first opportunity.

The Gold Ring

The young man was climbing the hill, slowly a step at a time. His bowed head seemed to indicate that something was bothering him. Perhaps he was lonely, or discouraged. He was coming to seek guidance from the wise man that lived on the hill on the outskirts of town.

 Entering the counselor's house, the young man found him reading, deep in thought.

"Excuse me, sir," he said hesitantly.  The old man lifted his eyes. Timidly, with a courteous bow and a voice of desperation, the young man said, "I have come seeing your help … sir." After a short pause, he continued, "I have dreams that I believe I can achieve, but no one thinks I have the ability to reach them. People see little value in me."

The old man continued his reading. After a while, he said, "Before I can give you any counsel, I need your help. Are you willing?"Somewhat disappointed for having his own needs ignored, the young man nevertheless responded, "I will try, sir."

The wise man stood up. Stretching himself a bit, he said, "I may need to pay a large debt in the future, for which I will need money. Here is my gold ring. Take it to the market and find out how much I can get for it, but don't settle for anything less than five gold coins. There is my horse. Go!"

The young man held onto the ring tightly and upon reaching the market place, went from stall to stall, offering it in exchange for cash. The fruit seller ignored him. The clothes merchant told him that he was not interested. The farmer selling chickens continued to bargain with a customer and waved him away.

Finally, the young man reached the pig seller's stall. After examining the ring for a while in his dirty hand, he said with a covetous smirk, "Tell the owner that I man be willing to give him five bronze coins for this."

"I fulfilled your assignment, sir," said the young man upon his return. "No one in the market is willing to give five gold coins for your beautiful ring."

"That's fine," responded the wise man. Now we know how little the market people value this ring. Go to the jeweler in town and show it to him."  

When the jeweler saw the gold ring, he quickly stood up and used a silk handkerchief to hold it carefully. Bring it under a lamp, he examined it in detail with a magnifying glass. "A masterpiece," he said softly. "If the owner if the ring is in hurry, I will buy it for 10 gold coins myself. But if he gives me time to bring out all its beauty, I shall find a wealthy customer willing to pay at least 20 gold coins for it."

The wise man listened attentively to the report the happy young man brought back and then told him, "Don't let the ignorant tell you the value of something they know nothing about. Listen only to the appraisal of the skilled specialist, the one who can recognize the true value of a master artist's work."And with a smile, the wise man placed the golden ring back on his finger and waved the young man good-bye.

The Buddha on Abuse

A tale is told about the Buddha, Gautama (563-483BC), the Indian prince and spiritual leader whose teachings founded Buddhism. This short story illustrates that every one of us has the choice whether or not to take personal offence from another person's behavior.

It is said that on an occasion when the Buddha was teaching a group of people, he found himself on the receiving end of a fierce outburst of abuse from a bystander, who was for some reason very angry.

The Buddha listened patiently while the stranger vented his rage, and then the Buddha said to the group and to the stranger, "If someone gives a gift to another person, who then chooses to decline it, tell me, who would then own the gift? The giver or the person who refuses to accept the gift?"

"The giver," said the group after a little thought. "Any fool can see that," added the angry stranger.

"Then it follows, does it not," said the Buddha, "Whenever a person tries to abuse us, or to unload their anger on us, we can each choose to decline or to accept the abuse; whether to make it ours or not. By our personal response to the abuse from another, we can choose who owns and keeps the bad feelings."

How do you Judge People?

One truck driver was doing his usual load delivery at a mental hospital, by parking his vehicle beside an open drain.

He discovered a flat tyre when he was about to return from the mental hospital. He jacked up the truck and removed the flat tyre to fix the spare tyre. When he was about to fix the spare tyre, he accidentally dropped all the 4 bolts in the open drain.

As he cannot fish the bolts in the open drain, he started to panic as to what should be done?

Just then, one patient happened to walk past him and asked the driver as to why he was looking troubled.

The driver thought to himself, since there is nothing much he can do or this mental joker can. Just to keep the bugging away, the truck driver informed the whole episode to the mental patient and gave a helpless look.

The patient just laughed at the truck driver and said you just cannot even fix such a simple problem? No wonder you are destined to remain a truck driver for life".

The truck driver was astonished to hear such a compliment from a mental guy. "Here is what you can do" said the mental guy... "take one bolt from each of the remaining 3 tyres / wheels and fix it on to this tyre. Then drive down to the nearest workshop and replace the missing ones. Isn't it simple my friend".

The truck driver was so impressed with this quick fix answer and asked the patient "how come you are so smart and intelligent and you are here at the mental hospital?"

The patient replied "hello friend! I stay here because I am crazy but not stupid".

No wonder, there are some people, who behave like the Truck Driver, thinking that others are just stupid. So, guys, though you all are learned and wise, but, just watch out, there could be some CRAZY guys in our professional / personal lives, who could give us lot of quick fixes and brush our wisdom.

Moral of the story : Just do not conclude that you know everything and do not judge people by mere looks / attire stature or academic background.

When all is illusory, only Hell is real?

A beautiful anecdote about the Adi Shankaracharya, the first shankaracharya from a Master.

Shankaracharya was in Varanasi. One day, early in the morning -- it was still dark because traditionally the Hindu monks take a bath before sunrise -- he took a bath.

And as he was coming up the steps, a man touched him on purpose, not accidentally, and told him, "Please forgive me. I am a sudra, I am untouchable. I am sorry, but you will have to take another bath to clean yourself."

Shankaracharya was very angry. He said, "It was not accidental, the way you did that; you did it on purpose. You should be punished in hell."

The man said, "When all is illusory, it seems only hell remains real." That took Shankaracharya aback.

The man said, "Before you go for your bath, you have to answer my few questions. If you don't answer me, each time you come up after your bath, I will touch you."

It was lonely and nobody else was there, so Shankaracharya said, "You seem to be a very strange person. What are your questions?"

He said, "My first question is: Is my body illusory? Is your body illusory? And if two illusions touch each other, what is the problem? Why are you going to take another bath? You are not practicing what you are preaching. How, in an illusory world, can there be a distinction between the untouchable and the brahmin? -- the pure and the impure? -- when both are illusory, when both are made of the same stuff as dreams are made of? What is the fuss?"

Shankaracharya, who had been conquering great philosophers, could not answer this simple man because any answer was going to be against his philosophy. If he says they are illusory, then there is no point in being angry about it. If he says they are real, then at least he accepts the reality of bodies... but then there is a problem. If human bodies are real, then animal bodies, the bodies of the trees, the bodies of the planets, the stars... then everything is real.

And the man said, "I know you cannot answer this -- it will finish your whole philosophy. I'll ask you another question: I am a sudra, untouchable, impure, but where is my impurity -- in my body or in my soul? I have heard you declaring that the soul is absolutely and forever pure, and there is no way to make it impure; so how can there be a distinction between souls? Both are pure, absolutely pure, and there are no degrees of impurity -- that somebody is more pure and somebody is less pure.

So perhaps it is my soul that has made you impure and you have to take another bath?"

That was even more difficult. But he had never been in such trouble -- actual, practical, in a way scientific. Rather than arguing about words, the sudra had created a situation in which the great Adi Shankaracharya accepted his defeat.

And the sudra said, "Then don't go take another bath. Anyway there is no river, no me, no you; all is a dream. Just go in the temple -- that too is a dream -- and pray to God. He too is a dream, because he is a projection of a mind which is illusory, and an illusory mind cannot project anything real.


A Story of Appreciation

One young man academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made the last decision.

The director discovered from the CV that the Young Man's academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score good grades.

The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarships in school?" the Young Man answered "None."

The director asked, " Was it your father who paid for your school fees?"

The Young Man answered, "My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees."

The director asked, "Where did your mother work?"

The Young Man answered, "My mother worked as clothes cleaner."

The director requested the Young Man to show his hands. The Young Man showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director asked, " Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?"

The Young Man answered, "Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me."

The director said, "I have a request. When you go back today, go and clean your mother's hands, and then see me tomorrow morning."

The Young Man felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid. The Young Man cleaned his mother's hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that.

It was the first time he noticed that his mother's hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the Young Man realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother's hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future. After finishing the cleaning of his mother hands, the Young Man quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother. That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the Young Man went to the director's office.

The Director noticed the tears in the Young Man's eyes, asked: "Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?"

The Young Man answered, "I cleaned my mother's hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes."

The Director asked, "Please tell me your feelings."

The Young Man said,

Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not be the successful me today.

Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done.

Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship.

The director said, "This is what I am looking for to be my manager."

I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company's performance improved tremendously. 

A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop "entitlement mentality" and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. For this kind of people, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel sense of achievement. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying the kid instead?

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow gray, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your kid learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.

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