Motivational Mini Stories
Optimistic, inspirational or laugh out loud, these are a collection of short mini stories, some accredited to Buddhism, some just made up, others come from the Jataka tales. Each has a lesson to be learnt if we pay close enough attention.
The Farmer and Baker
Once, there was a farmer who regularly sold butter to a baker. One day, the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting the exact amount that he asked for. He found out that he wasn’t, so he took the farmer to court.
The judge asked the farmer if he uses any measure to weigh the butter. The farmer replied, “Your Honor, I’m primitive. I don’t have a proper measure, but I do have a scale.”
The judge replied, “Then how do you weigh the butter?”
The farmer replied; “Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day, when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it’s the baker
The Wise Old Man
People came to visit a wise man always complaining about the same problems over and over again. One day, he decided to tell them a joke and they all roared with laughter.
After a few minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled.
Then he told the same joke for a third time, but no one laughed or smiled anymore.
The wise man smiled and said: “You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always crying about the same problem
A Helping hand
This is a story about Albert Williams, Albert was 84 years young with good health and always in good spirits. Albert had a routine for the last eleven years since the passing of his dearly beloved wife, Ethel. He would at 6pm everyday walk the quick 5 minutes to the train station, catch the train for two stops, where he would then walk for another 5 minutes to his favourite restaurant, the restaurant where he proposed to his wife. The staff had got to know Albert and always welcomed him with warm hearts.
On this particular evening in question as Albert went through his usual routine, walking the 5 minutes to the train station and taking the train two stops, it was as Albert was getting off the train that he noticed someone hanging around on the platform. As Albert started to climb the stairs the stranger approached carrying a knife.
“Give me all your money gramps!”
So I gave him my wallet without hesitation Albert told me. But as the teenager is walking away seeming satisfied with his loot, I suddenly find myself calling after him
“Hey wait a minute” I say “you forgot something”
My assailant swings round looking puzzled
“It’s really cold out, and I thought if your going to be robbing people all night maybe you best take my coat as well”
The teenager looked really stunned
“You what!, like you want to give me your coat as well”
“Well I thought your need for the coat might be more than mine, besides I don’t live far away, look I’m just going for a bite to eat, let me also buy you a good meal keep you going on such a cold night”
“Like is this some joke”
“No I’m deadly serious, look come no tricks”
So they walked together the five minutes or so to the restaurant, Albert chatting all the way trying to get the kid to open up a bit. Once inside the staff come out and greeted Albert as usual, the barman, then the owner and then the chef, all while the kid looks on in amazement.
“You own the joint or something” he asks
“No I just eat hear a lot these days”
“Yer but you’re like nice to everyone, even that dishwasher guy”
“Where you not bought up to be nice to everybody” I questioned
“Well yer, I guess, but I never thought anyone actually were that way”
“So tell me, what do you want to become with your life” I asked
The teen looked down with a rather saddened expression on his face, he just couldn’t answer me or maybe didn’t want to, he just looked so dejected with life.
We continued to talk and drink some more until the bill finally arrived.
“Look” Albert said “I promised you I would take you out and buy you a proper meal, but seeing how you got my wallet I can’t, so pass it over and let me pay”
The teen did without hesitation, and gave the wallet back. Albert paid and gave the teen who Albert now knew as Paul $50 and hoped this would help him. There was just one thing Albert asked for in return for the $50 and that was the knife, again Paul without hesitation gave Albert the knife.
A little kindness can go a very long way in helping those around us.
The Mouse Merchant
Once upon a time, an important adviser to a certain king was on his way to a meeting with the king and other advisers. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a dead mouse by the roadside. He said to those who were with him. “Even from such small beginnings as this dead mouse, an energetic young fellow could build a fortune. If he worked hard and used his intelligence, he could start a business and support a wife and family.”
A passer-by heard the remark. He knew this was a famous adviser to the king, so he decided to follow his words. He picked up the dead mouse by the tail and went off with it. As luck would have it, before he had gone even a block, a shopkeeper stopped him. He said, “My cat has been pestering me all morning. I’ll give you two copper coins for that mouse.” So it was done.
With the two copper coins, he bought sweet cakes, and waited by the side of the road with them and some water. As he expected, some peo- ple who picked flowers for making garlands were returning from work. Since they were all hungry
and thirsty, they agreed to buy sweet cakes and water for the price of a bunch of flowers from each of them. In the evening, the man sold the flowers in the city. With some of the money he bought more sweet cakes and returned the next day to sell to the flower pickers.
This went on for a while, until one day there was a terrible storm, with heavy rains and high winds. While walking by the king’s pleasure garden, he saw that many branches had been blown off the trees and were lying all around. So he offered to the king’s gardener that he would clear it all away for him, if he could keep the branches. The lazy gardener quickly agreed.
The man found some children playing in a park across the street. They were glad to collect all the branches and brush at the entrance to the pleasure garden, for the price of just one sweet cake for each child.
Along came the king’s potter, who was al- ways on the lookout for firewood for his glazing oven. When he saw the piles of wood the children had just collected, he paid the man a handsome price for it. He even threw into the bargain some of his pots.
With his profits from selling the flowers and the firewood, the man opened up a refresh- ment shop. One day all the local grass mowers, who were on their way into town, stopped in his
shop. He gave them free sweet cakes and drinks. They were surprised at his generosity and asked, “What can we do for you?” He said there was nothing for them to do now, but he would let them know in the future.
A week later, he heard that a horse dealer was coming to the city with 500 horses to sell. So he got in touch with the grass mowers and told each of them to give him a bundle of grass. He told them not to sell any grass to the horse dealer until he had sold his. In this way he got a very good price.
Time passed until one day, in his refresh- ment shop, some customers told him that a new ship from a foreign country had just anchored in the port. He saw this to be the opportunity he had been waiting for. He thought and thought until he came up with a good business plan.
First, he went to a jeweler friend of his and paid a low price for a very valuable gold ring, with a beautiful red ruby in it. He knew that the foreign ship was from a country that had no rubies of its own, where gold too was expensive. So he gave the wonderful ring to the captain of the ship as an advance on his commission. To earn this commission, the captain agreed to send all his passengers to him as a broker. He would then lead them to the best shops in the city. In turn, the man
got the merchants to pay him a commission for sending customers to them.
Acting as a middle man in this way, after several ships came into port, the man became very rich. Being pleased with his success, he also re- membered that it had all started with the words of the king’s wise adviser. So he decided to give him a gift of 100,000 gold coins. This was half his en- tire wealth. After making the proper arrange- ments, he met with the king’s adviser and gave him the gift, along with his humble thanks.
The adviser was amazed, and he asked, “How did you earn so much wealth to afford such a generous gift?” The man told him it had all started with the adviser’s own words not so long ago. They had led him to a dead mouse, a hungry cat, sweet cakes, bunches of flowers, storm dam- aged tree branches, children in the park, the king’s potter, a refreshment shop, grass for 500 horses, a golden ruby ring, good business contacts, and fi- nally a large fortune.
Hearing all this, the royal adviser thought to himself, “It would not be good to lose the tal- ents of such an energetic man. I too have much wealth, as well as my beloved only daughter. As this man is single, he deserves to marry her. Then he can inherit my wealth in addition to his own, and my daughter will be well cared for.”
This all came to pass, and after the wise adviser died, the one who had followed his advice became the richest man in the city. The king ap- pointed him to the adviser’s position. Throughout his remaining life, he generously gave his money for the happiness and well being of many people.
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