A very happily married college professor had this to say to his listening students: ‘Gentlemen, many of you will marry. Let me entreat you to be patient with your wives. Do not worry if your wife is not ready at the appointed time. Have a good book nearby and read it while you wait. And, gentlemen,’ his kindly smile was guileless, I assure you that you will be astonished at the amount of information you will acquire.”
A true friendship is like sound health,
the value of it is seldom known until lost.
The Rotary People
A small boy from a poor family, wrote to God for help. His letter addressed simply, “To God’, asked if he could send him Rs.100/- to buy some food which was needed for the family. He said that his father was out of work and that his mother was ill.
A post-office official intercepted the letter and read it. He decided to give it to the local Rotary Club. The club investigated and found that the family was indeed destitute. However they had only Rs.90/-in their fund on that day, so they gave that.
Some days later, the same post-office official noticed another letter addressed To God’. He opened it and read: ‘Dear God, thanks for the money you sent, but next time, could you deal direct? Those Rotary people took a commission out of it.”
Courage of Conviction
In Champaran the labourers were suffering from many injustices and atrocities at the hands of the white planters. Gandhiji’s interest and inquiry into the sad plight of these people gave them hope. Everybody except the white planters, were happy.
Someone reported to Gandhiji: The planter in this area is the worst of the lot. He is bent on finishing you off and has engaged several assassins.’ That night, Gandhiji went to the bungalow of that planter all alone and said, ‘I hear that you have
employed assassins to kill me. That is why I have come to your house alone and in secret.” The planter was shaken! He stood there stunned and speechless.
Family Reunion After 25 Years
After thinking each other dead for 22 years, a Russian mother and son were reunited in Chicago, U.S.A.
Parted in World War II, when the German army took the boy, then 17, from his home village to work in their camps, they thought each other dead when the war was over and the boy moved to U.S.A.. After 22 years he learned from a cousin that she was alive and he traced her to a village near the Black Sea. Three years later they met in Chicago for a visit. How often we take our family members for granted! We have them with us but we don’t appreciate them.
A Large Request
Alexander the Great had a famous but poor philosopher in his court. Being pressed for money, the philosopher made an application to his patron for relief. Alexander had commissioned him to draw whatever cash he needed from the Treasury so the philosopher presented a request for a very large amount. The Treasurer was angry and complained to the king. ‘He has done me a singular honour, he said. “By the largeness of his request he has shown that he was convinced both of my wealth and my generosity.”
A Beautiful Portrait
Once someone introduced an artist to Lincoln. The former had painted his portrait. To the introduction was added the comment that the portrait was remarkably beautiful.
While cordially shaking hands with the painter, Lincoln said in a merry voice: ‘I presume sir, while painting this beautiful portrait, you took the idea of me from my principles and not from my person!”
On another occasion, when Lincoln was not yet President of the United States, a friend taunted him: Your education doesn’t seem to have been of help for you to earn a living.’
Lincoln, who was still studying at the time, replied: ‘I am not educating myself to earn a living, I am trying to find out what to do with a living if I ever earn one!”
A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended. Later the woman responsible for spreading the rumour learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorry and went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage. “Go to the marketplace,” he said, “and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road.” Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told.
The next day the wise man said, “Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me.” The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown the feathers all away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand. “You see,” said the old sage, “it’s easy to drop them, but it’s impossible to get them back. So is with gossip. It doesn’t take much to spread a rumour, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong.
Knowledge Is Priceless
There was an engineer who had a priceless gift for fixing things. After serving his company loyally for 30 years, he retired.
Several years later, his company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having, with one of their multicore rupee machines. They had tried everything else to get the machine fixed, but to no avail. The engineer reluctantly took on the challenge.
He spent a day studying the machine. At the end of the day he marked a small ‘x’ by chalk on a particular component and confidently stated, “This is where your problem is.” The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. The company received a bill of or Rs.5,00,000/- from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly: “One chalk mark… Rs.10. Knowing where to put it… Rs. 4,99,990. It was paid in full.
The Little Hut
(The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me?” he cried. Early the next day, however, he was wakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.
It’s easy to get discouraged sometimes when things appear to be going badly. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God. For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it.
Yesterday is a dream, tomorrow but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore to this day.
Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn’t have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.
One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, “Oh, what a horrible thing to happen.” The farmer said simply, “We’ll see.” He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift. Everyone’s reaction now was, “What a lucky man.” And the farmer said, “We’ll see.”
A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, “What a poor fellow!” The farmer smiled and said, “We’ll see.” Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, “What a fortunate man.”
The farmer said, “We’ll see.” Later in the year, the farmer’s young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, “What a shame for the poor boy.” The farmer said, “We’ll see.”
Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him. Everyone said, “What a fortunate young man.” The farmer smiled again – and said, “We’ll see.”
Moral of the story: There’s no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise. And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from. As Fra Giovanni once said: “Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me… the gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.”
On The Alert
A group of applicants were waiting to be interviewed for a job as wireless operator. But they were talking so loudly that they paid no attention to the dots and dashes, which began coming over the loudspeaker.
A man sitting quietly by himself suddenly jumped up and walked into the private office. He came out a few minutes later, smiling.
‘Say,’ said one of the group, ‘how did you get in ahead of us. We were here first.’ ‘It’s your own fault. Anyone of you could have had the job,’ he replied, “if you had listened to the message over the loudspeaker’
‘What messages?’ they asked in surprise. “The code,’ he answered ‘It said – The man I need must always be on the alert. The first man who gets this message and comes directly into my private office will be placed on one of my ships as operator.”
Cure For Sorrow
There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, “What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?”
Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, “Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.” The woman went off at once in search of that magical mustard seed.
She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, “I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me.” They told her, “You’ve certainly come to the wrong place,” and began to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them.
The woman said to herself, “Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people that I, who have had misfortune of my own?” She stayed to comfort them and then went on in search of a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hovels and in other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune. She became so involved in ministering to other people’s grief that ultimately she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had, in fact, driven the sorrow out of her life.
Don’t marry for money: you can borrow it cheaper.