WHERE’S THE HAT

Once upon a time there was an atheist grandmother, claiming Jewish cultural (if not religious) roots, who took her beloved five-year-old grandson to the beach. Decked out in his sun suit and hat, and equipped with his pail and shovel, the little boy played happily near the water, building castles and moats. When the grandmother dozed, the grandson was suddenly caught in an undertow and was soon nowhere in sight. The frantic grandmother called for help, but there was no one else on the beach.

Figuring she had nothing to lose, she fell to the ground, raised her arms to heaven and prayed, “God, if you exist, if you are there, please save my grandson. I promise I’ll make it up to you. I’ll join the Hadassah*; I’ll volunteer at the hospital; I’ll join the men’s club, the women’s club, whatever makes you happy.”

And suddenly a huge wave tossed the grandson on the beach at her feet. The grandmother bent over to hear his heart beating, she noticed color in his cheeks, his eyes opening, but she appeared upset. Bringing herself to full height, and with hands on her hips, she wagged her finger at the sky: “He had a hat, you know! Where’s the hat?”

Source: “Meditations on a Joyful Year
Speed Vogel Talks with Moshe Walks”
in Parabola, XII (4) 1987, p. 63.

CONSIDER THIS

This is supposed to be a humorous story. Humor is possible in this situation only  because the grandmother speaks to and not for God.  God is someone who can be berated and cajoled because God is very much part of the family. God is personal and even a friend and just like a friend you can engage in a conversation with God on an intimate basis and be yourself, a conversation that allows for nitpicking even!

  • How does your conversation with God sound like?
  • It sometimes happen that no matter how big the gift, we sometimes act or respond as though it’s not big enough. How do you normally respond to what comes your way?

[*] Hadassah means compassion, hence the women’s charity in Israel, Hadassah.

THE LITTLE BOY WHO PUT THE WORLD BACK TOGETHER

 

There was a man who had a little boy that he loved very much. Everyday after work the man would come home and play with the little boy. He would always spend all of his extra time playing with the little boy.

One night, while the man was at work, he realized that he had extra work to do for the evening, and that he wouldn’t be able to play with his little boy. But, he wanted to be able to give the boy something to keep him busy.

So, looking around his office, he saw a magazine with a large map of the world on the cover. He got an idea. He removed the map, and then patiently tore it up into small pieces. Then he put all the pieces in his coat pocket.

When he got home, the little boy came running to him and was ready to play. The man explained that he had extra work to do and couldn’t play just now, but he led the little boy into the dining room, and taking out all the pieces of the map, he spread them on the table, together with some scotch-tape.

He explained that it was a map of the world, and that by the time he could put it back together, his extra work would be finished, and they could both play. Surely this would keep the child busy for hours, he thought.

About half an hour later the boy came to the man and said, “Okay, it’s finished. Can we play now?”

The man was surprised, saying, “That’s impossible. Let’s go see.”

And sure enough, there was the picture of the world, all put together, every piece in its place.

The man said, “That’s amazing! How did you do that?” The boy said, “It was simple. On the back of the page was a picture of a man. When I put the man together the whole world fell into place.”

Source: Meir Liraz, The 100 Top Inspirational Anecdotes and Stories
(Bizmove.com, 2010)

CONSIDER THIS

  • WHERE DO WE START? But where was I to start? The world is so vast, I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my town. But my town too, is large. I had best start with my street. No: my home. No: my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself! – Elie Wiesel, Souls on Fire       

 

SHE WEPT WITH HER SON

It was graduation time many years ago.   Preschool children had made a ceramic gift for their parents.  The graduation was over and the children had gone with their teachers to bring the gift of their ceramic hand to their parents.  The children all ran into the room together holding those hands as a surprise.   They were brightly wrapped with tissue paper and ribbons.   The classes had been working on them for weeks.

One small boy trying to run and carry his hand, wave to his parents, and at the same time he slipped and fell.   The surprise flew from his grasp and landed on the tile floor with an obvious ceramic crash.

The child’s first reaction was one of stunned silence but then he cried in disappointment at the broken hand.  His father who was wanting to minimize the incident and comfort the boy, patted his head and said, “Now that’s alright. It really doesn’t matter, son.  It really doesn’t matter at all.”  The child’s mother, somewhat wiser in such situations, dropped to her knees on the floor, swept the boy into her arms and said, “Oh but it does matter!  It matters a great deal!”   And she wept with her son.

Source: Based on a story told by  William Muehl in Why Preach? Why Listen
(Fortress Press, 1986) page 92

CONSIDER THIS

People need more than a pat on the head and a few words of reassurance. They need our blessing and our felt presence! When in pain or confused, people long for that someone who falls to the earth beside us, picks up our torn, broken and bleeding spirits, and says, “Oh, but it does matter. It matters eternally.”

PLANTED EVIDENCE

An old man lived alone in Minnesota. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his situation.

Dear Son,

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my
potato garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always loved planting time. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me, if  you weren’t in prison.

Love,
Dad

Shortly, the old man received this telegram:

“For Heaven’s sake, Dad,don’t dig up the garden!! That’s where I buried the guns!”

At 4 a.m. The next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local police officers showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any guns. Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asked him what to do next.

His son’s reply was:

“Go ahead and plant your potatoes, Dad. It’s the best I could do for you from here.”

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • No matter where you are in the world, if you havce decided to do something deep from your heart, you can do it.
  • It is the thought that matters not where you are or where the person is.

For more about this story I propose you check out Snopes

WHO’S REALLY BLIND?

A 24-year old young man looking out from the train’s window shouted, “Dad, look the trees are going behind!”.

Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24-year old’s childish behaviour with pity.

Suddenly, another shout of excitement, “dad look the clouds are running with us!”

The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man, “why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?”

The old man smiled and said.“I did. In fact we are returning home from the hospital. My son was born blind. He just got his eyes today.” 

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Every single person on the planet has a story. Let’s not rush to judge other people before we truly know them and their stories.
  • If you judge people, you have no time to love them. | Mother Theresa
  • When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. Wayne Dyer

LET SOME AIR OUT OF THE TIRES

Once upon a time John and his young son Philip were driving through town when they came upon a traffic jam. Up ahead they could see that a large semi trailer with a high load had become wedged under a railway overpass.

The father experienced only the frustration of being held up  while his son experienced a world of unbelievable wonder. There were police everywhere and fire trucks, a big crane and even a train that was forced to stop at the approach to the bridge.

While John sat in the car fuming, his son Philip could no longer contain himself. He sprang out of the car and raced away towards all the important people in suites, wearing yellow hats, all trying to figure out what to do.

“I know how to get the truck out!” he cried out. The men were more concerned for the boy’s safety and shooed him away. The young fellow persisted until he found someone who would listen – all the time dragging an exhausted dad behind him.

“What do you think we should do?” asked the man. “If you want to get the truck out all you have to do is let the air out of the tires!”

Source unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Ah! The power and beauty of lateral thinking! The next time you’re stuck, think differently, think sideways, thing tangentially, think laterally! See what possible solutions emerge.