TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE

A rabbi was concerned for a young friend who was becoming worldly and materialistic.

The rabbi invited him into his study and led him to the window.

“What do you see?” he asked.

There was a playground next to the house. “I see children playing,” the young friend answered.

Then the rabbi took a little hand mirror out of his pocket and held it before the visitor’s face. “Tell me what you see now?”

“I see myself,” he said wondering what was going on.

“Isn’t it strange,” the rabbi asked, “that when a little silver gets between yourself and others, you see only yourself.”

Source: “Materialism” #20,  in
Frank Mihalic, SVD
1000 Stories You Can Use, Vol 1
(Divine Word Publications, Manila, 1989)
pages 10-11

CONSIDER THIS

  • What is it in your life that tends to get in the way of seeing what is offered for you to see?
  • What blinds you, or if not so sever, what is it that blocks your vision?
  • And here’s one quotation to chew on: Cataracts are the third biggest cause of blindness. Religion and politics are the first two.”

EVERY BUCKET COUNTS

One day, having learned that the King of Fez was hunting lions in the neighbourhood, the town of Creamoria (known to have the best goats milk in all the land) decided to invite the King and his court to a festival, and killed a number of sheep in his honour.

The sovereign had dinner and drank of the goats milk, claiming it was the best he had ever drank. The King asked if he could have some more milk in the morning for his breakfast. The town was pleased and stated they would prepare him some so the King went off to bed. Wishing to show their generosity, they placed a huge goatskin bottle before his door and they all agreed to fill it up with milk for the royal breakfast.

The villagers all had to milk their goats and then each of them had to tip his/her bucket into the container. Given its great size, each of them said to themself that they might just as well dilute the milk with a good quantity of water without anyone noticing. To the extent that, in the morning, such a thin liquid was poured out for the king and his court that it had no taste other than the taste of meanness and greed.

From this day forward the town of Creamoria was known as the town with the worst goats milk in all the land. Even though their goats still delivered the finest goats milk anyone had ever tasted.

Source | Adapted from a story by Amin Maalouf in “Leo Africanus
(New Amsterdam Books, 1998) page 127

CONSIDER THIS

If you are known for your qualities, do not hold back.  Chances are you will lose your quality as well as your reputation.

 

THE WISE FARMER AND HIS LAZY SONS

A hard-working and generous farmer lived with his three lazy, greedy sons. He was elderly, and just before he died, he called them to him and told them that their inheritance was buried in his fields, and that they would have to dig it up in order to receive it. No sooner than his spirit left him than his sons went out and tore apart the fields looking for the buried treasure. Having dug up the entire farm and found nothing, however, they began to wonder if it was a trick, and if their father, in his generosity, had already given all his money away to the poor. One of the sons said, “Well, we’ve already dug the fields, we might as well sow a crop to take advantage of it.” His brothers agreed, and they planted wheat in the fields, took in a good harvest, and sold it for a large sum.
After the harvest, the sons wondered if they might have just missed the treasure when digging for it, so they dug up the fields once again just in case; having found no treasure, they once again planted a crop and sold it. This continued for a few years, until the sons had at last become accustomed to the labor and realized the lesson that their father had left them with on their deathbed. They became honest and content, and lived their lives in peace.

____________________

Another shorter version:
Once upon a time there was a farmer who had three lazy sons. While he and his wife worked day and night to tend their vineyards the sons refused to lift a finger. On his deathbed the farmer told them that he had buried a treasure in the vineyard. The sons dug up every inch of the vineyard trying to find the pot of gold. After many years of searching, they never found the spot where the treasure was hidden. However, all of their digging cultivated the ground in the vineyard. Soon the grapevines produced such abundant fruit that the three lazy sons grew wealthy, unwittingly, from their own hard work.
PONDER AND CONSIDER
  • There is not such thing as a fruitful harvest without the sweat of sowing and planting.