Sensitivity – Inspiring Story[for Parents]

Value 1: Sensitivity

Divya came back from school and without even changing, she settled down next to her mother. With big tears floating in her lovely eye, she said, ‘I must have the latest Lady Bird cycle Mammas. All my friends have it, except me.” Aruna lovingly took her daughter close and tried to reason with her. “My dear, you already have one and it is not so old either, don’t you?” “yes, but ….”Divya tried to explain, but her tears just wouldn’t be stop. The little girl was quite dejected with her mother’s reaction to her demand for a cycle. She thought, “Mother is really mean. Am I asking for too much? It’s only a cycle.” That night, she fell asleep thinking about nothing else.

The next day was a Sunday. Aruna woke up Divya quite early and got her ready. She did not want to give Divya much time to think about what was going on. Nikhil, Divya’s father, was waiting for them in the car. The three enjoyed the ride and before long, they came to huge mansion. Within moments, a lovely lady?” Divya felt so shy, she hid behind her mother. Aruna greeted Mrs. Dilip with great warmth and affection.

Mrs. Dilip then took the three to a hall where there were about 50 children sitting in rows. Most of them were of around Divya’s age but some were as small as a year old. Two assistants were giving the children breakfast. Divya looked at her mother wondering where they had come. Aruna told her, “Divya, this is bal bhavan, an orphanage run by Mrs. Dilip. The children, you notice, are those whose parents either have abandoned them or have expired.” Divya couldn’t take her eyes off the children who were having their breakfast without a fuss. She remembered how she troubled her mother every morning at the breakfast table.

Later, Aruna and Divya walked around the orphanage. At the recreation room, Divya asked her mother, “Mamma, doesn’t each child own a toy?” just the question Aruna was waiting to hear! She said, “Divya, the children who live here are a little unfortunate. They are however lucky to be living in a place like the Bal bhavan. Sensitive and kind people like Mrs. Dilip are able to take care of their basic needs like food, clothing and shelter but orphanages usually do not have big funds for each child to own a toy.” Aruna continued, “We must learn to be thankful for whatever we have and moreover, be a little sensitive to the ones less fortunate than us by giving whatever little we can.”

A month went by. Divya’s class teacher called up Aruna and congratulated her on having raised such a sensitive and thoughtful child. Divya had spoken to her class about her trip to the Bal bhavan. All the children had collected almost three big cartons full of toys and storybooks to be gifted to their young friends at Bal bhavan. Aruna could not contain her tears and hugged her daughter when she came home.

Morel: Teach your children about how fortunate they are for what they have and develop sensitivity for other who are little unfortunate.

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The Broken Pot [Self Esteem] – Inspiring Story

Once a water bearer in India had two large pots. He hung each pot at the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it. The other pot was perfect and carried the full portion of water up to the end of the long walk from the stream to the water bearer’s house. The cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily. The water bearer managed to carry only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud. “I am the best,” it would often say, smirking at the cracked pot.

Poor cracked pot grew more and more ashamed of its own imperfection. It felt miserable, for being able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what the cracked pot considered to be bitter failure, it spoke dejectedly to the water bearer one day. “Sir, I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the water bearer, “what are you ashamed of? “

“For the past two years, I have been able to deliver only half my load, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to our house. Due to my flaw, you have to do all of this work, and still don’t get full value from your effort, “the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot and said, “today, as we return to the house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path. “

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it somewhat. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” the pot nodded that it had seen so. “That’s because I have always known about your flaw and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path and everyday while we returned from the stream, you watered them unknowingly. For two years I have been able to pick those beautiful flowers to decorate my little girl’s room. Without you being just the way you are, I would not have this beauty to grace my house, “said the water bearer. The cracked water pot was no longer ashamed of itself.

Disciple Hood – Inspiring Stories

When the great Sufi mystic, Hasan, was dying, somebody asked

“Hasan, who was your master?”

He said, “I had thousands of masters. If I just relate their names it will

take months, years and it is too late. But three masters I will certainly

tell you about.

One was a thief. Once I got lost in the desert, and when I reached a

village it was very late, everything was closed. But at last I found one

man who was trying to make a hole in the wall of a house. I asked

him where I could stay and he said ‘At this time of night it will be

difficult, but you can stay with me – if you can stay with a thief’. And

the man was so beautiful. I stayed for one month! And each night he

would say to me, ‘Now I am going to my work. You rest, you pray.’

When he came back I would ask ‘Could you get anything?’ He would

say, ‘Not tonight. But tomorrow I will try again, God willing.’ He was

never in a state of hopelessness, he was always happy. When I was

meditating and meditating for years on end and nothing was

happening, many times the moment came when I was so desperate,

so hopeless, that I thought to stop all this nonsense. And suddenly I

would remember the thief who would say every night, ‘God willing,

tomorrow it is going to happen.’

And my second master was a dog. I was going to the river, thirsty and

a dog came. It was also thirsty. It looked into the river, it saw

another dog there — its own image — and became afraid. It would

bard and run away, but his thirst was so much that he would come

back. Finally, despite his fear, it just jumped into the water, and the

image disappeared. And I knew that a message had come to me from

God: one has to jump in spite of all fears.

And the third master was a small child. I entered a town and a child

was carrying a lit candle. He was going to the mosque to put the

candle there. ‘Just joking,’ I asked the boy, ‘have you lit the candle

yourself?’ He said, ‘Yes sir.’ And I asked, ‘There was a moment when

the candle was unlit, and then there was a moment when the candle

was lit. Can you show me the source from which the light came?’ And

the boy laughed, blew out the candle, and said, ‘Now you have seen

the light going. Where has it gone? You will tell me!’ My ego was

shattered; my whole knowledge was shattered. And that moment I felt

my own stupidity. Since then I dropped all my knowledge ability.

It is true that I had no master. That does not mean that I was not a

disciple — I accepted the whole existence as my master. My Disciple

hood was a greater involvement than yours is. I trusted the clouds,

the trees. I trusted existence as such. I had no master because I had

millions of masters I learned from every possible source. To be a

disciple is a must on the path. What does it mean to be a disciple? It

means to be able to learn, to be available to learn, to be vulnerable to

existence. With a master you start learning to learn.

The master is a swimming pool where you can learn how to

swim. Once you have learned, all the oceans are yours.”

Muda – Inspiring Story

A fantastic sentence written on every Japanese bus stop. Only buses will stop here Not your time. So Keep walking towards your goal. Japanese way of cost efficiency.

The Taj hotel group had invited Mr. Masai Imai from Japan to hold a workshop for its staff.   The staff were very skeptical – the hotel is doing excellent business, this person from Japan has no exposure to hotel industry – what exactly is he going to teach?   But everybody gathered as planned for the workshop in the conference hall sharp at 9 am.   Mr. Masai was introduced to them – a not so impressive personality, nor the English all that good; spoke as if he was first formulating each sentence in Japanese and then translating it into rather clumsy English.   “Good morning! Let’s start work. I am told this is a workshop; but I see neither work nor shop. So let’s proceed where work is happening. Let’s start with the first room on the first floor.”   Mr. Masai, followed by the senior management, the participants, the video camera crew trouped out of the conference room and proceeded to the destination.   That happened to be the laundry room of the hotel.   Mr. Masai entered the room and stood at the window, “beautiful view!” he said.   The staff knew it; they need not invite a Japanese consultant to tell them this!   “A room with such a beautiful view is being wasted as a laundry room. Shift the laundry to the basement and convert this into a guest room.”   Aa Haa! Now nobody had ever thought about that!   The manager said, “Yes, it can be done.”   “Then let’s do it,” Mr. Masai said.   “Yes sir, I will make a note of this and we will include it in the report on the workshop that will be prepared.” Manager   “Excuse me, but there is nothing to note down in this. Let’s just do it, just now.” Mr. Masai. “Just now?” Manager   “Yes, decide on a room on the ground floor/basement and shift the stuff out of this room right away. It should take a couple of hours, right?” asked Mr. Masai.   “Yes.” Manager.   “Let’s come back here just before lunch. By then all this stuff will have got shifted out and the room must be ready with the carpets, furniture etc. and from today you can start earning the few thousand that you charge your customers for a night.”   “Ok, Sir.” The manager had no option.   The next destination was the pantry. The group entered. At the entrance were two huge sinks full of plates to be washed.   Mr. Masai removed his jacket and started washing the plates.   “Sir, Please, what are you doing?” the manager didn’t know what to say and what to do.   “Why, I am washing the plates”, Mr. Masai.   “But sir, there is staff here to do that.” Manager Mr. Masai continued washing, “I think sink is for washing plates, there are stands here to keep the plates and the plates should go into the stands.”   All the officials wondered – did they require a consultant to tell them this?   After finishing the job, Mr. Masai asked, “How many plates do you have?’   “Plenty, so that there should never be any shortage.” answered the Manager.   Mr. Masai said, “We have a word in Japanese -‘Muda’. Muda means delay, Muda means unnecessary spending. One lesson to be learned in this workshop is to avoid both. If you have plenty of plates, there will be delay in cleaning them up. The first step to correct this situation is to remove all the excess plates.”   “Yes, we will say this in the report.” Manager.   “No, wasting our time in writing the report is again an instance of ‘Muda’. We must pack the extra plates in a box right away and send these to whichever other section of Taj requires these. Throughout the workshop now we will find out where all we find this ‘Muda’ hidden.”   And then at every spot and session, the staff eagerly awaited to find out Muda and learn how to avoid it.

On the last day, Mr. Masai told a story.   “A Japanese and an American, both fond of hunting, met in a jungle. They entered deep jungle and suddenly realized that they had run out of bullets. Just then they heard a lion roaring. Both started running. But the Japanese took a short break to put on his sports shoes.   The American said, “What are you doing? We must first get to the car.”   The Japanese responded, “No. I only have to ensure that I remain ahead of you.”   All the participants engrossed in listening to the story,  realized suddenly that the lion would stop after getting his victim!

“The lesson is: competition in today’s world is so fierce, that it is important to stay ahead of other, even by just a couple of steps. And you have such a huge and naturally well endowed country. If you remember to curtail your production expenditure and give the best quality always, you will be miles ahead as compared to so many other countries in the world.”, concluded Mr. Masai.   It is never late to learn……..

Vanilla ice cream that created mystery

A complaint was received by the Chief of a Car Service Station:

We have a tradition in our family of having Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner every night, each time the flavor varies. After dinner, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. I recently purchased a new car and since then my trips to the store have been a problem.

Every time I buy vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other flavor, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this. The chief was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an Engineer to check it out anyway. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn’t start. The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate, the car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start. Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He continued his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And towards the end he began to take notes: He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth, etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pick up. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Time was now the problem – not the vanilla ice cream! It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. The engineer quickly came up with the answer: “vapor lock”. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Moral of the story:

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple only when we find the solution with cool thinking.

What is happiness?

A rich man in order to be happy, went on searching for it, travelling different countries. He was still not happy. He chased wine, women and other addictions…but his heart was devoid of happiness.

Someone told him that there was happiness in a life of renunciation. So, he decided to try that too. He packed all his wealth, the treasure stored in his house, all diamonds, precious stones, gold …..

He took the bundle and placed it at the feet of yogi and said, `Swamiji! I am placing all my wealth at your feet! I don’t need them anymore. I only seek peace of mind and happiness! Where is peace?’ saying thus, he fell at the feet of the yogi in total surrender.

The yogi did not seem to heed his words at all. He hurriedly opened the bundle and checked the contents. It was full of dazzling diamonds, glittering gold. On viewing these, the yogi tied up the bundle and ran with it.

The rich man was extremely shocked. `Oh, no! I have surrendered to a cheat, a pseudo Godman! What a blunder!’ he thought. His sadness turned into anger and he went behind the yogi in hot pursuit.

The yogi was unable to run fast. He went into all the lanes and by-lanes, but finally reached the place from where he had started his run…under the tree. The rich man also reached the same place, panting hard. Before he uttered a word, the yogi said, `hey, did you get scared that I would abscond with your wealth? Here, take it! I have no need for it…keep it for yourself!’ and returned the bundle to him.

The rich man was very happy that he got back his `lost’ wealth. `Here is peace’, said the yogi. The yogi further added, `You see, all this wealth was with you even before you came here. But you did not derive joy from them. It is the same wealth that is with you now…but you have found a great joy in your heart! So where did the happiness come from…from wealth or within you?

It is clear from the story that joy and happiness are not outside us. They are within us!

The kingdom of heaven is within you, says the Bible.

Just like the rich man went roaming around with the bundle of wealth, many of us do not realise the truth. That is the reason why we look up to others for our happiness.

When the boss appreciates our work, `Good, you did a fine job!’ we literally float. When he utters a word of criticism, all happiness deserts us! So we become a football to be kicked by others.

Here are some examples:

A drunkard lay down in the street, fully intoxicated and senseless. His friend who happened to come by said to him jokingly, `Hey, I had gone to your house. I found that that your wife has become a widow. So go home and console her!’

The drunkard was very upset. `Oh, no!’ My wife has become a widow!’ He began to cry. `How can your wife become a widow when you are alive?’ consoled a passer-by. The drunkard answered, `but my friend told me that my wife has become a widow. He is my close friend and how can I disbelieve him?’ the drunkard continued to cry. Our sorrow is similar to that of the drunkard. Even though he experienced sorrow, it was illegitimate as it was born out of ignorance.

In each of us there is a drunkard. Many things which are not really true make us miserable. At other times, matters which are of no real significance, rob us of our happiness.

A farmer has a bumper crop of tomatoes in one season. Yet the farmer seemed to be very worried. His neighbours enquired of him the reason for his worry. He replied, `Normally, I feed my pigs with tomatoes.’ The neighbours enquired, `’What is the problem? You have a bumper crop this time!’ to which the farmer replied, `Yes. I have a bumper crop; but I do not have a single rotten tomato to offer to my pigs. What will I feed them with?’

To put it simply, happiness is like a lock, intelligence is like a key. If you turn the key of intelligence in the opposite direction, it would lock up happiness. If you turn it in the right direction, the doors of happiness open!

Interesting Story on Waste

A disciple of Buddha, said, “Oh Master! I have a request to make.”
Buddha: “What is it; tell me?”
Disciple: “My robe is worn out. It is no longer decent enough to wear.Please, may I have a new one?”

Buddha looked at the disciple’s attire and found that the garment was absolutely in tatters and really needed replacement. So he asked the store-keeper to give a new robe to this disciple.
The disciple offered obeisance to the great master and left the room.
Buddha kept thinking about the incident and felt that He had perhaps missed an opportunity to teach a valuable lesson to the disciple. So he went to the disciple’s quarters to talk to him.
Buddha: Are you comfortable in your new robe? Do you need anything else?
Disciple: Thank you Master. I am very comfortable and do not need anything else.

Buddha: Now that you have a new one, what have you done with the old one?
Discipl e: I have used it to replace my worn out bedspread.
Buddha: What did you do with the old bedspread?
Disciple: Master, I am using it as a curtain on my window.

Buddha: Did you discard your old window curtain?
Disciple: Master, I tore it into four pieces and am using them as napkins to handle
the hot pots and pans in the kitchen.
Buddha: What about the old kitchen napkins?
Disciple: We are using them as mops to wash and wipe the floor.

Buddha: Where is the old mop?
Disciple: Lord, the old mop was so tattered that the best we could do was to take all the threads apart and make wicks for your oil lamp. One of them is presently lit in your room.”
Buddha was content. He was happy that His disciples realized that nothing is useless. We can find a use for everything, if only we want to! Nothing should be wasted; not even time!

If all of us were to practice the habit of thrift, we can preserve the non renewable resources for our children, our grandchildren and our great grand children as our forefathers so thoughtfully did for us. Let us vow together to leave at least one monument for our children the Earth!