THE FARMER, THE HOUND AND THE BANKER

A distressed farmer was about to lose his farm, so he went to the bank to get a loan, and his old hound dog came along too.  Now the banker was a hard, unsmiling man who have never heard the word compassion.  So it came as no surprise that, despite the farmer’s pleading, and despite his perfect financial record, the banker said ‘No, absolutely no!’ to the loan.

No sooner had those words been spoken than the farmer’s old hound jumped up and bit that banker hard, on the leg.  And then he bit one of the customers as well.  The banker was astonished. “I can understand,” he said, “why your dog might bite me after I turned down your loan. But why did he bite that innocent bystander over there?”

“Aw that’s easy,” said the farmer. “He just needed to get the nasty taste out of his mouth.”

Source | Dennis R. Clark, Sunday Morning, Reflections on the Word

CONSIDER THIS

Imagine yourself in the position of the distressed farmer … Imagine yourself in the place of the insensitive banker … What do you feel? How would you have responded? Daily we encounter other people. Why not try on a daily basis, to give  to the other the gift of transforming graciousness!

OBSTACLES ON OUR PATH

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but no one did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.

After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

Source | Lyndall Briggs and Gary Green, Soul Purpose: Self Development Stories and Quotes. Page 4.

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • If I had not lifted up the stone I had not found the jewel. | Hebrew proverb
  • In the above story, the peasant learned what many of us never understand  –  Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.
  • Remember that taking initiative often brings with it unexpected rewards!

WHAT YOU SOW IS WHAT YOU REAP

Once there lived a poor Scottish farmer, his name was Fleming. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry from a nearby wet muddy ground. He dropped his tool and ran to that bog. There, he saw a terrified boy stuck to his waist in that black muck. He was screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the boy from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the farmer’s meager surroundings. An elegantly-dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy, Fleming has saved. ‘I want to repay you,’ said the nobleman. ‘You saved my son’s life.’  ‘No, I cannot accept payment for what I did,’ the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the home. ‘Is that your son?’ the nobleman asked. ‘Yes,’ the replied proudly. ‘I’ll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the boy is like his father, he’ll grow into a man you can be proud of.’

And that he did. In time, Fleming’s son graduated from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia. And what saved him? Penicillin. The name of the noble man was Lord Randolph Churchill, and his son’s name was Sir Winston Churchill.

Source | Binary Mag

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • What are you sowing? What you sow, so shall you reap

PLAYING IT SAFE

A young reporter wanted to get a feel for agriculture, so he called upon a farmer and said, “How’s your wheat coming along?” The farmer replied, “I didn’t plant any.”

“Really?” asked the reporter. “I thought this was supposed to be wheat country.”

“Some say it is,” Came the reply. “But I was afraid we might not see enough rain this year.”

“Well, what about your corn? How is it doing?” the young man inquired.

“Didn’t plant corn this year,” the farmer said. “I was afraid of disease”

“Alfalfa?”

“No. Afraid the price might drop.”

“Well, then,” asked the reporter, “what did you plant?”

“Nothing,” the farmer said. “I just played it safe.”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER 
Do you recognize yourself in that story? We cut out a lot of life playing it safe. Sometimes we all play it so safe that we are bound to lose. The farmer did not plant corn and did not plant wheat and did not plant alfalfa, because there was a risk which accompanied planting each one.  Something might go wrong in each case, so he played it safe by planting nothing, and he ended up with exactly that – nothing.

Do not play it too safe because that can be the most dangerous thing you can do in the world.  Of course, unnecessary risk-taking is foolish. But if life is to be lived fully, then saying “no”to our fears and taking a risk may be the first step to success.  It takes courage to do what we have never done before and to go where we have never been before.  But if we did not do that, we would all have stayed in our mother’s wombs and never lived at all.

  • Don’t play for safety. It’s the most dangerous thing in the world.  | Sir Hugh Walpole
  • “Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.” | Anon
  • You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful – yourself. | Alan Alda
  • Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. | Claude Thomas Bissell

OBSTACLES ON OUR PATH

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a poor farmer came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the he laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded After the farmer picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing. | Adolph Monod
  • The farmer learned what many others never understand, that every obstacle, every single crisis, the storms in life and all experiences of adversity present an opportunity for growth.
  • In life, we are presented with similar obstacles. Whether we blame someone for it and complain about it or like the farmer we take responsibility for it is a matter of choice. If we are wise and take up responsibility for the obstacles presented to us, we are sure to “find gold” once the obstacle is gone!

 

THE HORSE AND THE PIG

There was a farmer who had a horse and a pig. One day, the horse became ill and he called the veterinarian, who said:
“Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. I’ll come back on the third day and if he’s not better, we’re going to have to put him down.”Nearby, the pig listened closely to their conversation.

The next day, they gave him the medicine and left.

The pig approached the horse and said:

“Be strong, my friend. Get up or else they’re going to put you to sleep!”

On the second day, they gave him the medicine and left.

The pig came back and said:

“Come on buddy, get up or else you’re going to die! Come on, I’ll help you get up. Let’s go! One, two, three …”

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine and the vet said:

“Unfortunately, we’re going to have to put him down tomorrow. Otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses.”

After they left, the pig approached the horse and said:

“Listen pal, it’s now or never! Get up, come on! Have courage! Come on! Get up! Get up! That’s it, slowly! Great! Come on, one, two, three … Good, good. Now faster, come on … Fantastic! Run, run more! Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you’re a champion!”

All of a sudden, the owner came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting:

“It’s a miracle! My horse is cured! We must have a grand party. Let’s kill the pig!”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Nobody truly knows who actually deserves the merit of success, or who’s actually contributing the necessary support to make things happen. Remember: LEARNING TO LIVE WITHOUT RECOGNITION IS A SKILL!

AND GOD WEPT

There once was a hard working farmer who fell upon the greatest of gifts.

The Lord appeared to this farmer and granted him three wishes, but with the condition that whatever the Lord did for the farmer would be given double to his neighbour.

The farmer, scarcely believing his good fortune, wished for a hundred cattle. Immediately he received a hundred cattle and was overjoyed until he saw that his neighbor had two hundred. So he wished for a hundred acres of land, and again he was filled with joy until he saw that his neighbor had two hundred acres of land.

Rather than celebrating God’s goodness, the farmer could not escape feeling jealous and slighted because his neighbour had received more than he. Finally he stated his third wish: that God would strike him blind in one eye.

And God wept.

Source | This is a Jewish story as told by Allan Culpepper

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Jealousy can blind you, no pun intended!
  • Celebration can open your eyes and makes you see and know what you have never seen and known before.