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 sign...it 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.

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