This is a collection of inspirational stories that were circulated to me via email and the web… I’m saving them here because I think they have incredible lessons in them and would also make for great bedtime stories for our children.
- The Power of Words
- Be Careful What You Plant
- The Desire to Quit
- Shipwreck Survivor
- A Mother’s Love
- The Pencil Story
- Tomorrow May Be Too Late
- The Girl With Four Boyfriends
- The Danger of Being Judgmental
- Being Humble
- The American Dream
The Power of Words
There once were a bunch of tiny frogs…… who arranged a running competition.
The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.
A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants…
The race began…
No one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
You heard statements such as:
“Oh, WAY too difficult!!
They will NEVER make it to the top.”
“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”
The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one…
… Except for those who in a fresh tempo were climbing higher and higher…
The crowd continued to yell
“It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!”
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up…
…But ONE continued higher and higher and higher…
This one wouldn’t give up!
At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who after a big effort was the only one who reached the top!
THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?
A contestant asked the tiny frog how the one who succeeded had found the strength to reach the goal?
It turned out…
That the winner was DEAF!!!!
The wisdom of this story is:
Never listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic…cause they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you, the ones you have in your heart!
Always think of the power, words have.
Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!
Be Careful What You Plant
A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over his business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, ‘It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.’
The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, ‘I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.’
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by–still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing.
Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot, but she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes.
Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. ‘My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,’ said the CEO. ‘Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!’
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, ‘The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!’
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story.
The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, ‘Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!’ Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said?
Then the CEO said, ‘One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!’
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap a harvest.
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.
The Desire to Quit
One day I decided to quit…
I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality… I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
“God,” I said. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”
His answer surprised me…
“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.
Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant… But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.”
He said to me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots?
I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don’t compare yourself to others. The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern … Yet, they both make the forest beautiful.
Your time will come, ” God said to me. ” You will rise high! ” How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.
“As high as it can? ” I questioned.
“Yes. ” He said, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can. ”
I left the forest and bring back this story.
I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.
He will never give up on you.
Never regret a day in your life.
Good days give you happiness
Bad days give you experiences;
Both are essential to life.
A happy and meaningful life requires our continuous input and
creativity. It does not happen by chance. It happens because of our choices and actions. And each day we are given new opportunities to choose and act and, in doing so, we create our own unique journey.” Keep going…
Happiness keeps you Sweet, Trials keep you Strong, Sorrows keep you Human, Failures keep you humble, Success keeps You Glowing, but Only God keeps You Going!
When Henry Ward Beecher was a young boy in school, he learned a lesson in self confidence which he never forgot.
He was called upon to recite in front of the class. He had hardly begun when the teacher interrupted with an emphatic, “No!” He started over and again the teacher thundered, “No!” Humiliated, Henry sat down.
The next boy rose to recite and had just begun when the teacher shouted,”No!” This student, however, kept on with the recitation until he completed it. As he sat down, the teacher replied, “Very good!”
Henry was irritated. “I recited just as he did,” he complained to the teacher. But the instructor replied,”It is not enough to know your lesson; you must be sure. When you allowed me to stop you, it meant that you were uncertain.
If all the world says, ‘No!’ it is your business to say, ‘Yes!’ and prove it.”
The world will say, “No!” in a thousand ways……
“No! You can’t do that.”
“No! You are wrong.”
“No! You are too old.”
“No! You are too young.”
“No! You are too weak.”
“No! It will never work.”
“No! You don’t have the education.”
“No! You don’t have the background.”
“No! You don’t have the money.”
“No! It can’t be done.”
And each “No!” you hear has the potential to erode your confidence bit by bit until you quit all together. Though the world says, “No!” to you today, will you determine to say, “Yes!” and prove it?
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. 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 him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt that the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger.
He cried out, “God! How could you do this to me?”
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship 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 when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
A Mother’s Love
A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his Mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it and this is what it said:
For cutting the grass: $5.00
For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00
For going to the store for you: $.50
Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25
Taking out the garbage: $1.00
For getting a good report card: $5.00
For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00
Total owed: $14.75
Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote:
For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge!
For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you: No Charge!
For all the crying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge!
For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge!
For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge!
Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge!
When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.” And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL”.
The Pencil Story
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.
“There are 5 things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.”
“One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone’s hand.”
“Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.”
“Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.”
“Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.”
“And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.”
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.
Now replacing the pencil with you. Always remember this and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.
One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.
Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.
And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.
Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and doesn’t matter.
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. ‘We must do something about father,’ said the son.
‘I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.’
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.
When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.
Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, ‘What are you making?’ Just as sweetly, the boy responded, ‘Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. ‘ The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason,
neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Always listen to your Elder’s advices. Not because they are always RIGHT but because they have more experiences of being WRONG.
Remember that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
Remember that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Remember that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
Remember that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life..’
Remember that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
Remember that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.
Remember that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
Remember that whenever we decide something with an open heart, we usually make the right decision.
Remember that even when we have pains, we don’t have to be one..
Remember that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.
Remember that we still have a lot to learn.
Tomorrow May Be Too Late
A high school senior, looking forward to going to college, inspiring to become a doctor kisses her parents and dashes out the door to go to school, smiling, and waving goodbye — never realizing that before day’s end, she would meet the fate of a deadly bullet.
A husband and wife have a lover’s quarrel, laying back to back in bed — he, thinking about apologizing, she, thinking about talking tomorrow. They fall asleep, never realizing that before daybreak, tragedy will hit home, bringing a lifetime of regret.
Two friends, departing, and promising to stay in touch — to write — to call. Days, weeks, months go back, both thinking about the other but finding no time to express their thoughts. One friend finally, picks up the phone never realizing that time would find a terminally ill friend on the other end.
Later, and I’ll tell her how much I love her. Tomorrow, I’ll say I’m sorry. Later, I’ll call my friend. Tomorrow. Later. Tomorrow – Too Late.
We too often look for the negative, the unflourished qualities in those that we say we love, and too often push them away, instead of drawing them into our lives. Regret – grief — pain can come suddenly, without warning. We must cherish the moments that we have to spend with our loved ones, and not take them — or life for granted. We must give ourselves to life — give ourselves to others — give ourselves to love, realizing that if tomorrow does not come – we will have no regrets.
Take a moment — this day, to express your love, to give that overdue apology, or contact that friend – because you never know — tomorrow may be too late.
The Girl With Four Boyfriends
Once upon a time there was this girl who had four boyfriends.
She loved the 4th boyfriend the most and adorned him with rich robes and treated him to the finest of delicacies. She gave him nothing but the very best.
She also loved the 3rd boyfriend very much and was always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms. However, she feared that one day he would leave her for another.
She also loved her 2nd boyfriend. He was her confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with her. Whenever this girl faced a problem, she could confide in him, and he would help her get through the difficult times.
The girls 1st boyfriend was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining her wealth and kingdom. However, she did not love the first boyfriend. Although he loved her deeply, she hardly took notice of him!
One day, the girl fell ill and she knew her time was short. She thought of her luxurious life and wondered, I now have four boyfriends with me, but when I die, I’ll be all alone.”
Thus, she asked the 4th boyfriend, “I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”
“No way!”, replied the 4th boyfriend, and he walked away without another word.
His answer cut like a sharp knife right into her heart.
The sad girl then asked the 3rd boyfriend, “I loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”
“No!”, replied the 3rd boyfriend. “Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to marry someone else!”
Her heart sank and turned cold.
She then asked the 2nd boyfriend, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!”, replied the 2nd boyfriend. “At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.”
His answer struck her like a bolt of lightning, and the girl was devastated.
Then a voice called out: “I’ll go with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.”
The girl looked up, and there was her first boyfriend. He was very skinny as he suffered from malnutrition and neglect.
Greatly grieved, the girl said, “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!”
In truth, you have 4 boyfriend’s in your lives:
Your 4th boyfriend is your body. No matter how much time and effort you lavish in making it look good, it will leave you when you die.
Your 3rd boyfriend is your possessions, status and wealth. When you die, it will all go to others.
Your 2nd boyfriend is your family and friends.. No matter how much they have been there for you, the furthest they can stay by you is up to the grave.
And your 1st boyfriend is your Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world.
However, your Soul is the only thing that will follow you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout Eternity.
Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray.
The Danger of Being Judgmental
A watchman relates his story in which his boss drove a luxury car everyday and it was the watchman’s duty to greet him and to open the gates for him, at his villa. But the boss never responded back to the watchman’s greetings.
One day the boss saw the watchman opening the garbage bags outside the villa in search for any leftover food. But, as usual he never even looked at the watchman, it was like as if he never saw anything!
The very next day the watchman saw a paper bag at the same place, but it was clean and the food inside was covered well. It was fresh and good food like someone had just brought it from the supermarket. He didn’t bother as to where it came from; he just took the paper bag and was so happy about it.
From that day onwards, every day he found this paper bag at the same place with fresh vegetables and all that he needed for home. This became his daily routine. He was eating and sharing this food with his wife and kids, always wondering who this fool could be: to forget his paper bag full of fresh food everyday.
One day there was a big problem in the villa and he was told that his boss has died. There were too many guests coming to the villa that day and he didn’t get any food that day, so he thought that one of the guests must have taken it. But the same thing happened on the 2nd, 3rd and the 4th day.
It went on like this for a few weeks and he started finding it difficult to provide food for his family. So he decided to ask the boss’s wife for a raise in his salary or else he would have to quit his job as a watchman.
After he told her, she was shocked, and asked him how come he never complained about his salary for the last 2 years? And why is this salary not enough for him now? He gave her so many excuses but she wasn’t convinced!
Finally in the end, he decided to tell her the truth. He told her the entire story of the bag of groceries, and as to how it was his daily provision. She then asked him as to when this stopped? He told her after the death of her husband. And then he suddenly realized that he stopped seeing the paper bag immediately after the death of his boss. Why didn’t he ever think of this before? That it was his boss who was providing this food for him? He then realized that it was because he never thought that a person who never replied to his greetings could ever be this generous!
The boss’s wife started to cry and he told her to please stop crying and that he’s really sorry that he asked for a raise. He didn’t know that it was the boss who was providing him with the meals, and he promised to remain as a watchman and be happy to provide his service.
The wife told him, “I’m crying because I’ve finally found the 7th person my husband was giving this bag full of food to. I knew my husband was giving food to 7 people everyday. I had already found the 6 people, and all these days I was searching for the 7th person. And today finally I found out.”
From that day onwards, the watchman started to receive the bag full of food again, but this time his son was bringing it to the watchman’s house and giving it in his hand. But whenever he thanked him, he never replied! Just like his dad!
One day, the watchman told him THANK YOU in a very loud voice! He replied back to him to please not be offended when he doesn’t reply, because he has a hearing problem, just like his dad!”
We are often wrong, judging others without knowing the true story behind their actions. Be kind and courteous in dealing with others, for everyone is fighting a hard battle. Be careful, not everything is about you. Before you assume, there is this thing called “communicating.”
Many of our problems are caused by how we process what happens around us. Don’t jump to conclusions, it may cause you more harm at the end of the day. Don’t judge a situation you have never been in. Be humble enough to learn. You do not know it all. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. There are always two sides to a story: Don’t believe everything you hear.
I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my husband to get out of work.
Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.”
“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought. He didn’t. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.
After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very pretty car,” he said.
I said, “thanks,” and continued wiping off my car. He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came.
As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true to the inner voice.
“Do you need any help?” I asked.
He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.
I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me.
“Don’t we all?” he said.
I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun.
Don’t we all?
I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.
We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.
No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too.
No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.
Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.
Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that….
The American Dream
An American businessman was standing at the pier of the small coastal Mexican village when a tiny boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complemented the Mexican on the quality of his fish. How long did it take you to catch them?
“Just a little while.” he said.
The businessman asked him why he wouldn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs: said the fisherman. The American then asked what he would do with the rest of his time.
The Mexican fisherman said he would sleep late, fish a little, play with his children, take a siesta with his wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where he sips wine and plays guitar with his amigos. “I have a full and busy life Senor,” he said.
The business then said: “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you could buy a bigger boat and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell it directly to the consumers eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”
The fishermen then asked how long all this would take and the businessman replied 15 to 20 years. The fisherman asked: “but what then Senor?”
That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO- an initial public offering and send your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.
The fishermen asked again: “But what then Senor?”
Then you would retire, move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.
But I am doing that now also: said the fisherman.
Enjoy life with all those little things that you have. We all focus so much on gaining more and more that we forget to enjoy where we are with what we have.