Monday, January 15, 2007

There's always a better way

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat nearby and a sign which said: I’ll polish your shoes.

A man was walking by. He got his shoes polished and dropped coins into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by will see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up! A lot more people were giving work and money to the blind boy!

That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” The man said “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.”

What he had written was: Today is a beautiful day, and I cannot see it.

The first sign simply told people to help. The second sign told people that they were able to enjoy the beauty of the day, but the boy could not enjoy it because he was blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

There are at least two lessons we can learn from this simple story. The first is: Be thankful for what you have. Someone else has less. Help where you can. The second is: Be creative. Be Innovative. Think differently. There is always a better way.