Story 1: How poor are we !!
One day a father and his rich family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night on the farm of a very poor family.
When they got back from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “Very good Dad!” “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Yeah!” exclaimed the son. “And what did you learn?” asked the father.
The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard; they have a whole horizon.”
When the little boy was finished, his father was speechless. His son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how ‘poor’ we are!”
Isn’t it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humour and a positive attitude towards life — you’ve got everything! You can’t buy any of these things.
You may have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc.; but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing!
Story 2: The blind man’s message.
An old blind man was sitting on a busy street corner in the rush-hour begging for money. On a cardboard sign, next to an empty tin cup, he had written: ‘Blind – Please help’.
No-one was giving him any money.
A young advertising writer walked past and saw the blind man with his sign and empty cup, and also saw the many people passing by completely unmoved, let alone stopping to give money.
The advertising writer took a thick marker-pen from her pocket, turned the cardboard sheet back-to-front, and re-wrote the sign, then went on her way.
Immediately, people began putting money into the tin cup.
After a while, when the cup was overflowing, the blind man asked a stranger to tell him what the sign now said.
“It says,” said the stranger, ” ‘It’s a beautiful day. You can see it. I cannot.’ “
Story 3 : The way you see it.
Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.
The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here – nobody wears shoes.” The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
This simple short story provides one of the best examples of how a single situation may be viewed in two quite different ways – negatively or positively. We could explain this also in terms of seeing a situation’s problems and disadvantages, instead of its opportunities and benefits.
When telling this story its impact is increased by using exactly the same form of words (e.g., “nobody wears shoes”) in each salesman’s report. This emphasises that two quite different interpretations are made of a single situation.
Story 4 : Donkey’s attitude
One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The farmer frantically thought what to do as the stricken animal cried out to be rescued. With no obvious solution, the farmer regretfully concluded that as the donkey was old, and as the well needed to be filled in anyway, he should give up the idea of rescuing the beast, and simply fill in the well. Hopefully the poor animal would not suffer too much, he tried to persuade himself.
The farmer asked his neighbours help, and before long they all began to shovel earth quickly into the well. When the donkey realised what was happening he wailed and struggled, but then, to everyone’s relief, the noise stopped.
After a while the farmer looked down into the well and was astonished by what he saw. The donkey was still alive, and progressing towards the top of the well. The donkey had discovered that by shaking off the dirt instead of letting it cover him, he could keep stepping on top of the earth as the level rose. Soon the donkey was able to step up over the edge of the well, and he happily trotted off.
Life tends to shovel dirt on top of each of us from time to time. The trick is to shake it off and take a step up.