Finding Some Inspiration – Here’s 8 Little Stories to Remember
December 07, 2015 - Posted toHow to: Essay writing tips
8 Great Short Stories That Will Keep You Motivated
We all need to find some inspiration from time to time. Perhaps we are just burnt out and ready to give up; maybe we have had a falling out with a loved one; it could be that we have been disappointed or that others are spreading untruths about us; sometimes, we don’t feel that what the good we do even matters. Here are 8 great little stories to put in your memory bank when those rough patches hit.
A Florida vacationer left his condo for a walk on the beach one morning and saw that the tide had washed up star fish for as far as he could see. A bit further down the beach, he saw a little boy, picking up star fish one-by-one and throwing them into the ocean. “Son,” he said, “You will never be able to get all of these star fish back into the sea.” With that the boy picked up a star fish, threw it in the water, and said, “Well, there’s one.”
If you think the problems of the world are so large that you can do nothing about them, get back into your own smaller “world” and help just one person. You never know how that will ripple out to benefit many more.
The Brother Farmers
Two brothers had adjoining farms and ended up in a bitter fight. Out of spite, one brother bulldozed the edge of his property filling up a creek that the other brother used to water his animals. The other brother then called in a carpenter and instructed him to build an 8-foot high fence so that he would never have to see the bulldozing brother again. The carpenter nodded and said, “I understand what you need. I’ll get right on it.” The offended brother went to town for the day. When he returned, he discovered that the carpenter had built a bridge over the ravine which had once been a creek. On the other side of the bridge stood the bulldozing brother. He quickly came across the bridge, and hugged his brother for building that bridge so they could repair their relationship.
Nothing is achieved by building walls between yourself and someone with whom you disagree. Be the bridge builder.
A Pound is a Pound – Or Not
A baker bought a pound of butter from a farmer every day. He suspected that he was being cheated and so, one day, weighed the butter. Sure enough it was a few ounces short. Because this had been going on for several years, he decided to sue the farmer for some of his money back. The judge asked the farmer how he was weighing his butter. The farmer responded that he did not have a fancy scale but he did have a balance. Every day, he took the one-pound loaf of bread that he bought from the baker and put it on one side of the balance and scooped butter onto the other side until the balance was even.
What you give out in this life will return to you. If you cheat, if you are cruel, if you are dishonest, others will treat you that way too. Karma is real.
The Barnyard Frog
One day a frog decided to go into the barn and explore a bit. He hopped into a pail that was half full of milk. Try as he might, he could not get out of that pail. He swam around and swam around, jumped and jumped, but, of course, he had no hard surface from which to get some traction. He continued to kick and swim and struggle, determined not to die in that milk. Finally, all of his churning about turned the milk into butter and he was able to jump from that hunk of butter and get out.
When you feel like giving up think of our friend, Mr. Frog. Sometimes, just some more effort in the right way will mean the difference between success and faiure.
The Cheating Moneylender and the Smart Daughter
Several hundred years ago, in an Italian village, a merchant found himself in debt to a moneylender with no way to pay it back. The moneylender offered to forgive the debt if he could marry the merchant’s daughter. Bothe father and daughter were horrified and stated absolutely not. The moneylender came back and offered another deal. He would put two pebbles in a bag – one white, one black. If the daughter picked out the black one, the debt would be forgiven and she would agree to marry the creep. If she pulled out the white one, the debt would be forgiven and she did not have to marry him. Without waiting for an answer, the moneylender bent down and picked up two pebbles to put into his bag. The sharp daughter saw that he had picked up two black pebbles and placed them into the bag. Over her father’s objections, she agreed to pic a pebble from the bag. She reached in and picked out a pebble and immediate dropped it onto the ground among the other pebbles that lay there. “Oh I am sorry to have been so clumsy,” she said. “But it won’t be a problem. We’ll know which one I picked by the one that is still in the bag.” The moneylender had no choice.
There are always difficult problems you will face. Most of them do have a solution if you can think about them in a new, creative way.
Response vs. Reaction
Three women were having lunch in a café. As they were eating, a cockroach jumped onto the blouse of one of the women. She screamed, stood up and started jumping up and down. In all of her antics, the cockroach fell onto another friend at the table who did just the same thing. The waiter came up while the second woman was flailing about, and the cockroach was thrown onto the waiter’s vest. He stood calmly, waited for the cockroach to get settled, then simply picked it up with a napkin and took it away.
The women reacted to the cockroach; the waited responded to it. That is the difference between chaos and reason. When a crises or a disturbing even occurs, do you react (emotional) or do you respond (reasonable and intellectual)?
The Egg, the Coffee Beans, and the Carrot
A 20-something young woman was having a rough time of it. She could not find the job she wanted, had student loan debt, had broken up with her boyfriend and her best friend was moving across country. She went to her mom’s house and poured out her troubles. The mom took the daughter into the kitchen and put three pots of water on to boil. In one, she put carrots; in one she put eggs; in the third she put coffee beans. She let everything boil for 15 minutes. She took her daughter over to the stove. She pulled out a limp carrot and put it on a paper towel. Then, she scooped out the egg. Last, she poured the hot water now turned coffee into a cup. “Which do you want to be?” she asked. You can give up and give in and become a limp carrot; you can become hard and tough like the egg, and lose your kind and soft nature; or you can become like the coffee bean and work to change your circumstances to what you want them to be.
The $20 Dollar Bill
A teacher stood before his class holding up a $20 bill. “Who would like this?” he asked. Every hand went up. He then wadded up the bill so that it was all crumpled into a ball. “Now who still wants it?” he asked. Every hand still went up. Next, he took the bill, threw it on the ground and proceed to grind his shoe into it. Dirty and crumple, the bill was help up again. “Now who still wants it?” And again, every hand went up. “This is your lesson,” he then stated. “No matter what happens to you in life, no matter how many mistakes you make, no matter horrible your life may become, you still have value. You will always have value. And you need to remember this about others as well. Everyone, no matter how they may look to you now, has value and worth.”
So, there you have 8 very short stories. The original authors are anonymous as are most little tales like this. But there are important lessons in their simplicity – heed them.