Some stories to learn from…
Story telling is probably one of the best art forms which can help shape us!
Story# 1: Ascetic and the Scorpion
Once upon a time there lived an ascetic by the banks of the Ganges. Everyday he would go to the river and take a holy dip. No sooner he would do that a scorpion would come out of the waters and bite him. The sage would gently pick up the arthropod and put it back in the water. This used to happen everyday. One day a young boy who used to come there for his bath couldn’t hold on to his confusion any longer and asked him, “Namaste Guruji, I see that everyday the scorpion bits you and instead of hitting or killing it, you always gently put him back into the river? Why do you do that?”. The priest replied calmly, “Dear son, let the scorpion do its job- its his nature, and I just do mine. If he has a negative and harmful attitude, why should I change my behaviour and adapt his nature? Let him do what he wants to, I will do what I would normally do…I won’t change for him.” In our lives each one of us are meant to do our jobs- good or bad, depending on the circumstances and context. Why would you want to change or stop others from doing what is their innate nature. Let them do their jobs, we keep doing ours.
Story# 2: Faith
There was this village in the western part of India. Almost every year the villagers used to face the situation of drought and it used to become extremely difficult for them to farm and earn their livelihood. So the seniors got together and decided that the entire population would go to the nearby temple and seek the blessings of the Lord and request for some good rains this season. Next day early morning they all set out for the temple with high hopes and were ready to camp it out for a few days, if need be. Only one small child in this group had carried an umbrella with him. THAT is faith!
Story# 3: The Proud Rose & The Kind Cactus
In a mythological desert far away, there was this beautiful rose who was so proud of its beauty and fragrance. The only thing bothering it was the fact that an ugly looking cactus grew next to her. Every day the rose used to ridicule the cactus for it’s thorny and ugly appearance and keep talking about her beautiful petals, it’s bright red colour, and the mesmerising fragrance. The cactus was feeling bad but it could do nothing except listening to the pompous rose. One day the sun decided to shine at it’s brightest and harshest form. Everywhere water was evaporating and the land was turning dry. The rose started to wilt. Suddenly the rose saw a small bird dip its beak inside the cactus and drank water. The rose, embarrassed and with genuine guilt in its conscience asked the cactus if it could also have some water. The kind cactus smiled and obliged. Never judge a person by the looks. Be grateful if you have certain better qualities than the other person but never let that person feel low or ridiculed.
Effect of Stories
Stories have characters. Even if these characters are animals or plants and not humans, the way they are personified, we feel connected to them. We develop empathy towards them and feel connected with them in a very deep manner. Story telling is one of the most valuable forms of communication which every leader and powerful communicator embraces. Certain traits and characters of humans which are portrayed through stories make us become good individuals and influence our social behaviour. And the beauty of story telling is that though the stories are made in different cultures and societies, the underlying moral and social messages remain applicable to all.
I am personally very influenced by these and other stories…there are a few episodes of Mahabharat and Sri Bhagavadgita which has also taught me a lot- good as well as bad ones. Bad meaning- what should not be done and what needs to be done. Good orators use analogies which are basically stories inserted in their speeches to emphasize on certain key takeaways. Also, as in my case, stories ensure that people remember heavy subject matter in a very light and interesting manner.
Thank you for reading this story of mine. I am sure there must be stories in your life too which would have influenced you in some way. Would be great and fun if you could share.