8 Very Short Stories With Important Lessons
The Japanese master
A great Japanese master received a university professor who came to enquire about wisdom. The master served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself. ‘It is overfull. No more will go in!’ ‘Like this cup,’ the master said, ‘you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you wisdom unless you first empty your cup?’
The problem with dandelions
A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself with a large crop of dandelions. He tried every method he knew to get rid of them. Still they plagued him.
Finally he wrote to the Department of Agriculture. He enumerated all the things he had tried and closed his letter with the question: “What shall I do now?”
In due course, the reply came: “We suggest you learn to love them.”
A turn of the screw
There was an industrialist whose production line inexplicably breaks down, costing him millions per day. He finally tracks down an expert who takes out a screwdriver, turns one screw, and then – as the factory cranks back to life – presents a bill for £10,000.
Affronted, the factory owner demands an itemised version. The expert is happy to oblige: “For turning a screw: £1. For knowing which screw to turn: £9,999.”
Author: Oliver Burkeman in “The Guardian Weekend“, 13 August 2011
In the same boat
Two men were out on the ocean in a boat.
One of them began drilling in the bottom of the boat, and the other, aghast said “What are you doing? Stop drilling!”.
And the first man replied: “It’s all right. I’m only drilling on my side.”
Once a farmer found an abandoned eagle’s nest and in it was an egg still warm. He took the egg back to his farm and laid it in the nest of one of his
hens. The egg hatched and the baby eagle grew up along with the other chickens. It pecked about the farmyard, scrabbling for grain. It spent its life within the yard and rarely looked up. When it was very old, one day it lifted up its head and saw above it a wonderful sight – an eagle soaring high above in the sky. Looking at it, the old creature sighed and said to itself, “If only I’d been born an eagle”.
Author: Adapted from an Anthony de Mello story
Knowledge and wisdom
There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable.
Wisdom is knowing not to include it in a fruit salad.
The Minister travelled for days by train and car and boat to one of the furthest islands in the nation. As he surveyed the bleak but inspiring landscape, he turned to a local villager and said: “You’re very remote here, aren’t you?” She responded: “Remote from what?”
The two wolves
A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?” The grandfather answered: “The one I feed.”
Author: Native American Parable