Inspirational anecdotes and quotes to lift up and inspire.
The Story of Two Wolves
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” [Source]
That’s not my problem
One day, a mouse looked through a crack in the wall, hoping to spot the farmer and his wife opening some food, but to his astonishment, they were in fact opening a brand new mouse trap.
Running to the farmyard in a panic, the mouse warned the farm animals, “They just bought a mouse trap and put it in the house.”
The frightened mouse approached the pig, and explained the news that the farmer had just bought a new mouse trap.
“There is nothing I can do Mr. Mouse, but I will cross my fingers that no harm comes to you,” the pig said sympathetically.
The mouse approached the farmyard chicken, looking for a solution. The chicken said that there was nothing he could do for him, and warned that he must be careful.
Very disappointed, by the lack of support he got from the chicken and the pig, he approached the cow, and warned her that the farmer had got a mouse trap. The cow was also very unhelpful and told the mouse, “Mr. Mouse, I’m a cow, the mouse trap cannot harm me and there is nothing I can do.”
That night there was a loud thud from the farm house. It sounded like the sound of mouse trap catching something, so the farmer’s wife rushed to see what had been caught.
She unfortunately didn’t see that the trap had caught the tail of a venomous snake; the snake turned around and gave the farmer’s wife a nasty snake bite.
After a few days in hospital, she returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows the best way to treat a fever, is with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer went to the farmyard to catch the chicken.
His wife didn’t get better, and friends and family came to visit and sit with her. To feed the visitors, the farmer butchered the pig.
Eventually the farmer’s wife died, and to feed all the guests at the funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide the meat for the funeral.
The moral of the story is, next time someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn’t concern you, make sure that you try to help them with it, as you put everyone at risk if you don’t. [Source]
Two Monks and a Woman
A senior monk and a junior monk were travelling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.
The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.
Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.
The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.
Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out, “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”
The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?” [Source]
From Candles to Soap
In 1879, Procter and Gamble’s best-seller was candles. But the company was in trouble. Thomas Edison had invented the light bulb, and it looked as if candles would become obsolete. Their fears became reality when the market for candles plummeted since they were now sold only for-special occasions.
The outlook appeared to be bleak for Procter and Gamble. However, at this time, it seemed that destiny played a dramatic part in pulling the struggling company from the clutches of bankruptcy. A forgetful employee at a small factory in Cincinnati forgot to turn off his machine when he went to lunch. The result? A frothing mass of lather filled with air bubbles. He almost threw the stuff away but instead decided to make it into soap. The soap floated. Thus, Ivory soap was born and became the mainstay of the Procter and Gamble Company.
Why was soap that floats such a hot item at that time? In Cincinnati, during that period, some people bathed in the Ohio River. Floating soap would never sink and consequently never got lost. So, Ivory soap became a best seller in Ohio and eventually across the country also. Like Procter and Gamble, never give up when things go wrong or when seemingly unsurmountable problems arise. Creativity put to work can change a problem and turn it into a gold mine. [Source]
The Elephant Rope
A gentleman was walking through an elephant camp, and he spotted that the elephants weren’t being kept in cages or held by the use of chains.
All that was holding them back from escaping the camp, was a small piece of rope tied to one of their legs.
As the man gazed upon the elephants, he was completely confused as to why the elephants didn’t just use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp. They could easily have done so, but instead, they didn’t try to at all.
Curious and wanting to know the answer, he asked a trainer nearby why the elephants were just standing there and never tried to escape.
The trainer replied, “When they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The only reason that the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was that over time they adopted the belief that it just wasn’t possible. [Source]
There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper. His father decided to hand him a bag of nails and said that every time the boy lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the fence.
On the first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into that fence.
The boy gradually began to control his temper over the next few weeks, and the number of nails he was hammering into the fence slowly decreased. He discovered it was easier to control his temper than to hammer those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father the news and the father suggested that the boy should now pull out a nail every day he kept his temper under control.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.” [Source]
Step on your problems
A man’s favorite donkey falls into a deep precipice. He can’t pull it out no matter how hard he tries. He therefore decides to bury it alive.
Soil is poured onto the donkey from above. The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it. More soil is poured.
It shakes it off and steps up. The more the load was poured, the higher it rose. By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures. [Source]