Friday, September 28, 2007

Acres of diamonds

There was a farmer in Africa who was happy and content. He was happy because he was content. He was content because he was happy.

One day a wise man came to him and told him about the glory of diamonds and the power that goes along with them. The wise man said, "If you had a diamond the size of your thumb, you could have your own city. If you had a diamond the size of your fist, you could probably own your own country." And then he went away.

That night the farmer couldn't sleep. He was unhappy and he was discontent. He was unhappy because he was discontent and discontent because he was unhappy.

The next morning he made arrangements to sell off his farm, took care of his family and went in search of diamonds. He looked all over Africa and couldn't find any. He looked all through Europe and couldn't find any. When he got toSpain, he was emotionally, physically and financially broke. He got so disheartened that he threw himself into the Barcelona River and committed suicide.

Back home, the person who had bought his farm was watering the camels at a stream that ran through the farm. Across the stream, the rays of the morning sun hit a stone and made it sparkle like a rainbow. He thought it would look good on the mantle piece. He picked up the stone and put it in the living room.

That afternoon the wise man came and saw the stone sparkling. He asked, "Is Hafiz back?" The new owner said, "No, why do you ask?" The wise man said, "Because that is a diamond. I recognize one when I see one."

The man said, "No, that's just a stone I picked up from the stream. Come, I'll show you. There are many more."

They went and picked some samples and sent them for analysis. Sure enough, the stones were diamonds. They found that the farm was indeed covered with acres and acres of diamonds!

When our attitude is right, we realize that we are all walking on acres and acres of diamonds. Opportunity is always under our feet. We don't have to go anywhere. All we need to do is recognize it.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Love and Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived - happiness, sadness, knowledge, and all of others, including love.

One day, it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink. So they all prepared boats and left. Love was the only one who stayed. But when love got very close to sinking, she got worried for help.

"Help, help! Who can help me?? Richness, can you help me?"

"No, I can't, there is lot of gold inside my balloon, there is no place here for you." Richness said.

"Sadness, let me go with you!"

"Oh love, I am so sad that I'd prefer to go alone." Sadness replied.

"Happiness, help me, help me…" Love said.

Happiness was too happy so he did not listen when love called him.

When love was almost to give up asking for help, suddenly she heard a voice, "Come love, I will take you."

The one who helped love was an elder. Love was so happy that she even forgot to ask the elder his name. When they arrived on dry land, the elder went on his own way. Then love asked knowledge, another elder, the name of the elder who helped her.

"His name is Time" Knowledge said.

"Time?? But why did he help me?" Love asked.

"Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love truly is..."

Take time to know what real love is.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Life of a cactus

A cactus stood all alone in the desert, wondering why it was stuck in the middle of nowhere.

"I do nothing but stand here all day," it sighed. "What use am I? I'm the ugliest plant in the desert. My spines are thick and prickly, my leaves are rubbery and tough, my skin is thick and bumpy. I can't offer shade or juicy fruit to any passing traveler. I don't see that I'm any use at all."

All it did was stand in the sun day after day, growing taller and fatter. Its spines grew longer and its leaves tougher, and it swelled here and there until it was lumpy and lopsided all over. It truly was strange looking.

"I wish I could do something useful," it sighed.

By day hawks circled high overhead. "What can I do with my life?" the cactus called. Whether they heard or not, the hawks sailed away.

At night the moon floated into the sky and cast its pale glow on the desert floor. "What good can I do with my life?" the cactus called. The moon only stared coldly as it mounted its course.

A lizard crawled by, leaving a little trail in the sand with its tail.

"What worthy deed can I do?" the cactus called. "You?" the lizard laughed, pausing a moment.

"Worthy deed? Why, you can't do anything! The hawks circle way overhead, tracing delicate patterns for us all to admire. The moon hangs high like a lantern at night, so we can see our ways home to our loved ones. Even I, the lowly lizard, have something to do. I decorate the sands with these beautiful brushstrokes as I pull my tail along. Buy you? You do nothing but get uglier every day."

And so it went on, year after year. At last the cactus grew old, and it knew its time was short. "Oh, Lord," it cried out, "I've wondered so long, and I've tried so hard. Forgive me if I've failed to find something worthy to do. I fear that now it's too late." But just then the cactus felt a strange stirring and unfolding, and it knew a surge of joy that erased all despair... its very tip, like a sudden crown, a glorious flower suddenly opened in bloom! Never had the desert known such a blossom!

Its fragrance perfumed the air far and wide and brought happiness to all passing by. The butterflies paused to admire its beauty, and that night even the moon smiled when it rose to find such a treasure.

And the cactus heard a voice... the voice of Lord:

"You have waited long," the Lord said. "The heart that seeks to do good reflects My glory, and will always bring something worthwhile to the world, something in which all can rejoice - even if for only a moment."


Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Nescafe account

The top marketing director of Nescafe manages to arrange a meeting with the Pope at the Vatican.

After receiving the papal blessing, the Nescafe official whispers, 'Your Eminence, I have some business to discuss. We at Nescafe have an offer for you. Nescafe is prepared to donate $100 million to the church. If you change the Lord's Prayer from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily coffee."

The Pope looks outraged and thunders, "That is impossible. The prayer is the word of the Lord, It must not be changed."

Well," says the Nescafe man somewhat chastened, "We anticipated your reluctance. For this reason, and the importance of the Lord's prayer to all catholics, we will increase our offer to $300 million. All we require is that you change the Lord's prayer from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily coffee'."

Again, even more sternly, the Pope replies, "That, my son, is impossible. For the prayer is the word of the Lord and it must not be changed."

Finally, the Nescafe director says, "Your Holiness, we at Nescafe respect your adherence to your faith, we realise that tradition is essential to your beliefs, we fully understand the importance of the word of the Lord but we do have one final offer. Please discuss it with your Cardinals. We will donate $500 million to the great Catholic church if you would only change the Lord's Prayer from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily coffee'. Please, please consider it." And he leaves.

The next day the Pope convenes the College of Cardinals. "There is some good news," he announces, "and some bad news."

"The good news is," he continues to a hushed assembly, "that the Church will get $500 million."

"And what is the bad news, your Holiness?" asks a Cardinal.

"Sadly" says the Pope, "we would have to lose the Brittania account."


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The carpenter's house

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire.

He told his employer cum contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials.

It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created, and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Let the dirt settle

Buddha is moving on the road and it is noon. It is very hot. He feels thirsty and tells his disciple, Ananda, “Please go back, we crossed a small stream just two-three miles back, from there bring some water for me.” And Buddha rested under the tree.

Ananda went to the stream. But just when he reached near it, a few bullock carts passed the stream, and since the stream was very small, now it became dirty. All the dirt that was settled underneath had surfaced, including the old dry leaves. The water was no more drinkable.

Ananda tried the same as you would try – he entered the stream and tried to settle things so that water can become clean again. But the poor disciple only dirtied it more. Disappointed, he came back and requested to Buddha “the water is not drinkable, but I know a certain river ahead, I will go and fetch water from there."

But Buddha insisted “Why did you come back? No, I want the water from that stream only”. When Buddha insists, how could Ananda deny? So reluctantly, he went again. But his hesitation changed to joy as he realized something looking at the water again - by the time he reached half of the dirt had settled again without anybody trying to settle it, it had settled on its own accord. He understood the point this time!

Then he sat under the tree and watched the stream flow to let the other half of dirt get settled. He waited, he watched, and soon the water was clear, the dead leaves had gone back to the bottom and the dirt was all gone as well. Fetching the clear water for his master, Ananda came joyfully running and fell at Buddha’s feet to say, "Oh Lord, that’s the mistake I had been doing my mind my whole life! But now I will just sit under a tree and let the stream of mind pass by, let it settle by itself. Now I will not jump in the stream and try to force order upon things”.

This is not to say that order isn't necessary. It is. But many a times, we waste our precious moments and sacrifice happiness to chase things which time is going to settle on its own anyways. A broken heart takes time to heal. Peace of mind doesn't come in an instant. Understanding your spouse takes time too. Don't always jump to settle the mud on your own - give time a chance to do its job as you just wait and watch with hope that, sooner or later, the dirt is going to get settled on its own.


Monday, September 3, 2007

The dog who could walk on water

There was a hunter who came into the possession of a special bird dog. The dog was the only one of its kind, because it could walk on water! One day he invited a friend to go hunting with him so that he could show off his prized possession.

After some time, they shot a few ducks, which fell into the river. The man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. The dog ran on water to fetch the birds. The man was expecting a compliment about the amazing dog, but did not receive it. Being curious, he asked his friend if the friend had noticed anything unusual about the dog. The friend replied, “Hmmm... Yes. I did see something unusual about your dog. Your dog can’t swim.”

More than 90% of the people that we face everyday are negative. They choose to look at the hole in the middle rather than the doughnut. Do not expect compliments or encouragement from them. These are the people who cannot pull you out of your present situation. They can only push you down. So be aware of them, spend less time with them, and do not let them steal your dreams away from you.