The wall of resentment

A story tells of a merchant in a small town who had identical twin sons. The boys worked for their father in the department store he owned and, when he died, they took over the store.

Everything went well until the day a twenty-dollar bill disappeared. One of the brothers had left the bill on the cash register and walked outside with a customer. When he returned, the money was gone.

He asked his brother, “Did you see that twenty-dollar bill on the cash register?” His brother replied that he had not. But the young man kept probing and questioning. He would not let it alone. “Twenty-dollar bills just don’t get up and walk away! Surely you must have seen it!” There was subtle accusation in his voice. Tempers began to rise. Resentment set in. Before long, a deep and bitter chasm divided the young men. They refused to speak. They finally decided they could no longer work together and a dividing wall was built down the center of the store. For twenty years hostility and bitterness grew, spreading to their families and to the community.

Then one day a man in an automobile licensed in another state stopped in front of the store. He walked in and asked the clerk, “How long have you been here?”

The clerk replied that he’d been there all his life. The customer said, “I must share something with you. Twenty years ago I was ‘riding the rails’ and came into this town in a boxcar. I hadn’t eaten for three days. I came into this store from the back door and saw a twenty-dollar bill on the cash register. I put it in my pocket and walked out. All these years I haven’t been able to forget that. I know it wasn’t much money, but I had to come back and ask your Forgiveness.”

The stranger was amazed to see tears well up in the eyes of this middle-aged man. “Would you please go next door and tell that same story to the man in the store?” he said. Then the man was even more amazed to see two middle-aged men, who looked very much alike, embracing each other and weeping together in the front of the store.

After twenty years, the brokenness was mended. The wall of resentment that divided them came down.

It is so often the little things – like resentments – that finally divide people. And the solution, of course, is to let them go. There is really nothing particularly profound about it. But for fulfilling and lasting relationships, letting them go is a must.

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7 Wonders of the world [Must Read]

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders of the World.” Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter’s Basilica
7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.

The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.”

The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”

The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the ‘Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. to see
2. to hear
3. to touch
4. to taste
5. to feel
6. to laugh
7. and to love.”

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous! A gentle reminder – that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

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.

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……..

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!