A STORY OF HONESTY


 

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.He called all the young executives in his company together. “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO,” he said.”I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – a very special seed. I want you plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

  One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others,received a seed.He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants  that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now,others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.Six months went by – still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – he so wanted the seed to grow.

  A year finally went by and all the young executives of the  company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened.Jim felt sick at his stomach. It was going to be the most  embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives.They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed. A few felt sorry for him!

   When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his youngexecutives.Jim just tried to hide in the back.   “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO.”Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!” All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front.

Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!” When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Here is your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!”. Jim couldn’t believe it.

Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said? Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed.  But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.”When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you

will reap later.

A FINAL GOODBYE


 “I am going home to Denmark, Son, and I just wanted to tell you I love you.”

In my dad’s last telephone call to me, he repeated that line seven times in a half hour. I wasn’t listening at the right level. I heard the words, but not the message, and certainly not their profound intent. I believed my dad would live to be over 100 years old, as my great uncle lived to be 107 years old. I had not felt his remorse over Mom’s death, understood his intense loneliness as an “empty nester,” or realized most of his pals had long since light-beamed off the planet. He relentlessly requested my brothers and I create grandchildren so that he could be a devoted grandfather. I was too busy “entrepreneuring” to really listen.

“Dad’s dead,” sighed my brother Brian on July 4, l982.

My little brother is a witty lawyer and has a humorous, quick mind. I thought he was setting me up for a joke, and I awaited the punchline – there wasn’t one. “Dad died in the bed he was born in – in Rozkeldj,” continued Brian. “The funeral directors are putting him in a coffin, and shipping Dad and his belongings to us tomorrow. We need to prepare for the funeral.”

I was speechless. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to happen. If I knew these were to be Dad’s final days, I would have asked to go with him to Denmark. I believe in the hospice movement, which says: “No one should die alone.” A loved one should hold your hand and comfort you as you transition from one plane of reality to another. I would have offered consolation during his final hour, if I’d been really listening, thinking and in tune with the Infinite. Dad announced his departure as best he could, and I had missed it. I felt grief, pain and remorse, Why had I not been there for him? He’d always been there for me.

In the mornings when I was nine years old, he would come home from working 18 hours at his bakery and wake me up at 5:00 A.M. by scratching my back with his strong powerful hands and whispering, “Time to get up, Son.” By the time I was dressed and ready to roll, he had my newspapers folded, banded and stuffed in my bicycle basket. Recalling his generosity of spirit brings tears to my eyes.

When I was racing bicycles, he drove me 50 miles each way to Kenosha, Wisconsin, every Tuesday night so I could race and he could watch me. He was there to hold me if I lost and shared the euphoria when I won.

Later, he accompanied me to all my local talks in Chicago when I spoke to Century 21, Mary Kay, Equitable and various churches. He always smiled, listened and proudly told whomever he was sitting with, “That’s my boy!”

After the fact, my heart was in pain because Dad was there for me and I wasn’t there for him. My humble advice is to always, always share your love with your loved ones, and ask to be invited to that sacred transitional period where physical life transforms into spiritual life. Experiencing the process of death with one you love will take you into a bigger, more expansive dimension.

The Miser


Aesop

A miser sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily. One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it. The Miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said, “Pray do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying there. It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it.”

***********

You can’t please everyone


One day a man was going to market with his son and his ass. they met a couple on the way.

“Why walk when you have an ass to ride?” called out the husband, “seat the boy on the ass.”

“I would like that,” said the boy, “help me up father.”

And the father did that willingly.

Soon they met another couple. “How shameful of you!” cried the woman, “let your father ride, won’t he be tired?”

So, the boy got down and the father rode the ass. Again they marched on.

“poor boy”, said the next person they met, “why should the lazy father ride while his son is walking?”

So, the boy got onto the ass too. As they went on, they met some travellers.

“How cruel of them!” They are up to kill the poor ass.” cried one of the travellers.

Hearing this, the father and the son got down. Now they decided to carry the ass on their shoulders. As they did so, the travellers broke into laughter.

The laughter frightened the ass. It broke free and galloped away.

MORAL: You can not please everyone

The merchant with four wives


There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men. He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant’s confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times. Now, the merchant’s 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her. One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be!” Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word. The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant’s heart.
The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is so good over here! I’m going to remarry when you die!” The merchant’s heart sank and turned cold. He then asked the 2nd wife, “I always turned to you for help and you’ve always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out : “I’ll leave with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, “I should have taken much better care of you while I could have !”

Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives ……. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it’ll never leave with us when we die. Our 3rd wife ? Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we’re alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. BOTTOMLINE! “The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and sensual pleasure. Guess what ? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we’re on our death-bed to lament.”

A Scorpion Moment



by: Bill Greer, Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul

There was this Hindu who saw a scorpion floundering around in the water. He decided to save it by stretching out his finger, but the scorpion stung him. The man still tried to get the scorpion out of the water, but the scorpion stung him again.

A man nearby told him to stop saving the scorpion that kept stinging him.

But the Hindu said: “It is the nature of the scorpion to sting. It is my nature to love. Why should I give up my nature to love just because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting?”

Don’t give up loving.
Don’t give up your goodness.
Even if people around you sting.

 

Hospital Windows


Title: Hospital Windows

 

Author: Author Unknown

 

Source: Source Unknown



Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”