Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Thursday, 4 January 2018
As Gandhi stepped aboard a train one day, one of his shoes slipped off and landed on the track. He was unable to retrieve it as the train was moving. To the amazement of his companions, Gandhi calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first. Asked by a fellow passenger why he did so, Gandhi smiled. "The poor man who finds the shoes lying on the track," he replied, "will now have a pair he can use."
Tuesday, 2 January 2018
Saturday, 30 December 2017
The Wise Sage
There once was a wise sage who wandered the countryside. One day, as he passed near a village, he was approached by a woman who told him of a sick child nearby. She beseeched him to help this child.
So the sage came to the village, and a crowd gathered around him, for such a man was a rare sight. One woman brought the sick child to him, and he said a prayer over her.
"Do you really think your prayer will help her, when medicine has failed?" yelled a man from the crowd.
"You know nothing of such things! You are a stupid fool!" said the sage to the man.
The man became very angry with these words and his face grew hot and red. He was about to say something, or perhaps strike out, when the sage walked over to him and said: "If one word has such power as to make you so angry and hot, may not another have the power to heal?"
And thus, the sage healed two people that day.
"Language does have the power to change reality. Therefore, treat your words as the mighty instruments they are - to heal, to bring into being, to nurture, to cherish, to bless, to forgive." - Daphne Rose Kingma
Sunday, 24 December 2017
The Beautiful Flower In The Broken Pot
Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.
One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.
Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning."
He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face... I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..."
For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."
I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.
When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.
He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.
At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.
He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again.
And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning.
As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.
In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.
Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly preciou s.
When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.
"Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"
Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.
I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.
Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!"
My friend changed my mind. "I ran short of pots," she explained, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."
She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. "Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body."
All this happened long ago - and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.
Saturday, 23 December 2017
The Painter and The Child
Centuries ago a great artist was engaged to paint a mural for the cathedral in a Sicilian town. The subject was the life of Christ. For many years the artist labored diligently, and finally the painting was finished except for the two most important figures: the Christ Child and Judas Iscariot. He searched far and wide for suitable models.
One day while walking in the city he came upon some children playing in the street. Among them was a 12-year-old boy whose face stirred the painter's heart. The artist took the child home with him, and day after day the boy sat patiently until the face of the Christ Child was finished. But the painter still had found no model for the portrait of Judas.
The story of the unfinished masterpiece spread afar, and many men, fancying themselves of wicked countenance, offered to pose for Judas. But in vain the old painter looked for Judas, as he envisioned him-a man warped by life, enfeebled by surrender to greed and lust.
Then one afternoon as he sat in a tavern, a gaunt and tattered figure staggered across the threshold. 'Wine, wine,' he begged. The startled painter looked into a face that seemed to bear the marks of every sin of mankind. "Greatly excited, the old painter said, 'Come with me, and I will give you wine.'
For many days the painter worked feverishly to complete his masterpiece. As the work went on, a change came over the model. A strange tension replaced the stuporous languor, and his bloodshot eyes were fixed with horror on the painted likeness of himself.
One day, perceiving his subject's agitation, the painter paused in his work. "My son," he said, "what troubles you so?"
The man buried his face in his hands, sobbing. After a long moment he lifted pleading eyes to the old painter's face. "Do you not then remember me? Years ago I was your model for the Christ Child.'"
- Hugh B. Brown
Tuesday, 19 December 2017
You Are My Life
There was a boy in India who was sent by his parents to a boarding school. Before being sent away this boy was the brightest student in his class. He was at the top in every competition. He was a champion.
But the boy changed after leaving home and attending the boarding school. His grades started dropping. He hated being in a group. He was lonely all the time. And there were especially dark times when he felt like committing suicide. All of this because he felt worthless and that no one loved him.
His parents started worrying about the boy. But even they did not know what was wrong with him. So his dad decided to travel to the boarding school and talk with him.
They sat on the bank of the lake near the school. The father started asking him casual questions about his classes, teachers and sports. After some time his dad said, 'Do you know son, why I am here today?"
The boy answered back, "to check my grades?"
"No, no" his dad replied, "I am here to tell you that you are the most important person for me. I want to see you happy. I don't care about grades. I care about you. I care about your happiness. YOU ARE MY LIFE."
These words caused the boy's eyes to fill with tears. He hugged his dad. They didn't say anything to each other for a long time.
Now the boy had everything he wanted. He knew there was someone on this earth who cared for him deeply. He meant the world to someone. And today this young man is in college at the top of his class and no one has ever seen him sad!
Thanks a lot dad. YOU ARE MY LIFE.
- Viraj Bhandare
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia
- Sent from Inspirational Short Stories App
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Someone knocked at the door of the Beloved and a voice from within inquired: "Who is there?" He answered, "It is I." And the voice said, "This house will not hold me and thee." So the door remained closed.
Then the lover sped away into the wilderness and fasted and prayed. After a year he returned and knocked again at the door and the voice again demanded: "Who is there?" And the lover said, "It is thou."
The door was opened.
- Jalal ad-Din Rumi
Monday, 11 December 2017
One day not too long ago the employees of a large company in St. Louis, Missouri returned from their lunch break and were greeted with a sign on the front door. The sign said: "Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym."
At first everyone was sad to hear that one of their colleagues had died, but after a while they started getting curious about who this person might be.
The excitement grew as the employees arrived at the gym to pay their last respects. Everyone wondered: "Who is this person who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he's no longer here!"
One by one the employees got closer to the coffin and when they looked inside it they suddenly became speechless. They stood over the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul.
There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see himself. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said: "There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth: it is YOU.
You are the only person who can revolutionize your life. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, your realization and your success. You are the only person who can help yourself.
Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your partner changes, when your company changes. Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs, when you realize that you are the only one responsible for your life.
"The most important relationship you can have, is the one you have with yourself."
Saturday, 9 December 2017
An old man sat outside the walls of a great city. When travelers approached, they would ask the old man, "What kind of people live in this city?" The old man would answer, "What kind of people live in the place where you came from?" If the travelers answered, "Only bad people live in the place where we came from," the old man would reply, "Continue on; you will find only bad people here."
But if the travelers answered, "Good people live in the place where we came from," then the old man would say, "Enter, for here too, you will find only good people."
- A Yiddish Folk Tale