30 March, 2012

Believe what you feel...

On this day, Vicky said that he had an exercise for everyone to try. All had to stand, facing away from the classmates, and fall backward, relying on another student to catch them. Most of them were uncomfortable with this, and they couldn’t let go for more than a few inches before stopping themselves. All laughed in embarrassment.

Finally, one student, a thin, quiet, dark-haired girl whom Rohan had noticed almost always wore bulky, white fisherman sweaters, crossed her arms over her chest, closed her eyes, leaned back, and does not flinch, like one of those Lipton tea commercials where the model splashes into the pool..
For a moment, Rohan was sure she was going to thump on the floor. At the last instant, her assigned partner grabs her head and shoulders and yanks her up harshly.

“Whoa!” several students yell. Some clap. Vicky finally smiles. “You see”, he says to the girl, “you closed your eyes that was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too – even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling".

The little wave

The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this terrible”,the wave says. “Look what's going to happen to me!”

Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says: “You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?”

The second wave says: “No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean.”

Alexander and Diogenes

Now when Alexander [the Great] appeared before the Greek leaders in Corinth they greeted him warmly and paid him lavish compliments- all of them, that is but one. A funny fellow, a philosopher named Diogenes. According to him, possessions and all the things we think we need only serve to distract us and get in the way of our simple enjoyment of life. So he had given away everything he owned and now sat, almost naked, in a barrel in the market square in Corinth where he lived, free and independent like a stray dog.

Curious to meet this strange fellow, Alexander went to call on him. Dressed in shining armour, the plume on his helmet waving in the breeze, he walked up to the barrel and said to Diogenes: 'I like you. Let me know your wish and I shall grant it.' Diogenes, who had until then been comfortably sunning himself, replied: 'Indeed, Sire, I have a wish.' 'Well, what is it?' 'Your shadow has fallen over me: stand a little less between me and the sun.' Alexander is said to have been so struck by this that he said: 'If I weren't Alexander, I should like to be Diogenes.'

25 March, 2012

The Young Puppet- Maker...

There was once a young man who liked puppets so much that he became an apprentice to a master puppet-maker. Sadly, the young man was very clumsy, and his teacher and the other apprentices were always telling him he had no ability when it came to making puppets, and that he would never amount to anything.

Even so, he enjoyed it so much that he worked day after day to improve. Despite his efforts, they would always find something wrong with the puppets he had made, and they ended up throwing him out of the workshop.

He wasn't going to give up, so the young man decided that from then on he would spend all his time making just one kind of puppet. On he went, and whenever he found a fault in his puppet he would abandon it and start again right from square one. The years passed, and with each new attempt his puppet became a little bit better. By now, his puppet was much better than anything his old fellow apprentices could make, but he kept making improvements, seeking perfection. Living like that, the man wasn't making any money, and many people laughed at how poor he was.

By the time he was an old man, his puppet was truly wonderful. So much so, that finally one day, after so many years of work, he finished work on his puppet, and said: "I can't find anything wrong with it. This time it is perfect", and for the first time in all those years, instead of abandoning his puppet, he put it up on the shelf, feeling truly satisfied and happy.

And the rest is history.

That perfect puppet came to life, had a thousand adventures, and gave that old man - whose name was Geppetto - more joy than any other famous puppet-maker ever got from any of their creations.

Trying hard to do things well is much more satisfying than doing them just to an ordinary standard.

A Colourful Head...

This is the incredible tale of a very odd boy.

He always wanted what wasn't his: his friends' toys, his cousins' clothes, his parents' books...he ended up being so envious that even the hairs on his head were given to jealousy. One day, it just so happened that a hair on the crown of his head woke up completely green. Now, when the other hairs saw this they became so hugely envious that they too ended up turning green.
The next day, a hair near his hairline was stained by something blue. Seeing this, again all the other hairs ended up blue. So, day after day, the boy's hair would completely change colour, driven by the boundless envy his hairs felt.

Everyone loved the boy's colourful and ever-changing hair; except the boy himself. He always wanted what other people had, so, of course, he wanted to have hair just like the others had. One day, this angered him so much that he furiously pulled at his hair. One rather thin hair couldn't endure all the pulling, and it let go; falling to the floor with quite a nice smooth flight.

Of course, the other hairs saw this, felt envious, and they all let go too. Within a minute the boy was as bald as an egg, and the look of surprise on his face seemed like a bad joke.

After many tears and tantrums, the boy understood how all this had happened, and how it had all been a natural consequence of his envy. He decided that, from then on, he would try to enjoy what he had, without becoming obsessed by what others had. Trying to put this into practice he started by making the most of his smooth, shiny, hairless head.

He turned it into his own private canvas. From that day on, he took to painting beautiful, colourful scenes on his bald head. People enjoyed these so much that the boy finally developed into one of the world’s best - and certainly the world's most original - artists.

Envy is the result of not knowing how to appreciate what we already have.

The Happy Sweeper...

A loutish kid and his mates were visiting a theme park. They arrived very early and everything was empty and clean. A park cleaner came by, singing and dancing as he swept. As everything was already so clean, the group of friends found it amusing to see how the cleaner worked so joyfully, and so early in the morning. They had a great time making fun of him. But the cleaner didn't mind, and just kept sweeping the area clean.

So the gang started throwing bags and bits of paper on the ground, 'to give him something to do'. When more visitors started arriving, and saw the lout and his friends throwing litter about, they thought it was one of the park's fun activities. So they joined in, and as more people arrived, the park became covered in rubbish. The park cleaner couldn't cope. No one seemed to be bothered, but something strange started happening.

As time went on, the park attractions were emptying, and more people were looking down at the rubbish on the ground. By the end of the day no one was on any of the park rides; they were all standing about, looking at the ground. "Well," said the park authorities, "what's going on here?"

Well... Everyone was looking for something!
It turned out that some time during that day, everyone had dropped something on the ground, but now that it was covered with litter, whenever anyone dropped anything... it was almost impossible to find it!

There was no other solution than have everyone help to clean the park, so they could find their things. Encouraged by the park cleaner, the visitors swept the ground, singing and dancing all the while. It became so much fun that from that day they created a new activity in the park, in which everyone, armed with brushes and bags, spent a while cleaning, laughing, and dancing.

It’s better to be clean and tidy from the start, and anyone can clean up in a joyful spirit.