The Grumpy Old Man

A Motivational Spiritual Moral Story The Grumpy Old Man

The Grumpy Old man teaches us about the destructive power of negative thinking. A short spiritual story with a life lesson or moral purpose that imparts true wisdom.

The Grumpy Old Man

Once not so long ago there lived a grumpy, ugly and rather smelly old man. He hadn’t always been this grumpy or this smelly when he was younger, it was life’s circumstances that had dealt him blow after blow and left him feeling this way.

He would spend his days trying too find food and shelter but everyday town folk and villagers would chase him away, teasing him and calling him names as they went. Many days were spent like this, hungry and alone.

With the beginning of a new day, the grumpy, smelly old man picks himself up from the dirt and starts walking the usual main road in search of food. What starts out to be a normal day for our grumpy, smelly old man certainly isn’t going to end that way.

The first village of the day

The first village he walks into looking for a kindhearted soul who would give him some food, turned out to be terribly mean indeed. The moment the villagers see him walking towards them, fresh new insults are hurled in his direction.

“Hey you over there you!” Shouted one man “you smell so bad my pigs have just hidden. Ha ha ha”

As the grumpy, smelly man hears this new insult he can feel himself becoming just a slightly bit more grumpier and slightly more stinkier than he had been a few moments before.

“Oi smelly britches” laughs a little girl

“Get out of our town you grumpy smelly thing” shouts an angry women

“Leave us alone” adds another “your not welcome smelling like you do and looking as ugly as a dogs dinner”

Again as these new harsh words are spoken, our grumpy, smelly old man can feel himself grow just a little bit more grumpy and slightly more stinky.

The mayor of the town steps forward and delivers the final harsh words telling our old grumpy, smelly old man to leave.

Leaving the village folk behind

Walking out of town our old man is feeling awful, he’s terribly hungry and extremely lonely. He feels even more grumpier than he did this morning and starts muttering under his smelly breath all the way to the next village.

It just so happens that our grumpy, smelly old man’s luck was about to change. For within the very next village their lived a wise man of high repute and a master in dealing with all matters of the heart and mind.

Upon entering the village, there seemed nothing unusual or special about this new place. Fresh insults were hurled in his general direction. Most he had heard before but they still hurt and he already felt slightly more grumpy then he did a moment ago. His heart sank and he began to feel like his life was hopeless. He was sure he wouldn’t eat today.

Hearing the commotion and the insults being dished out to someone new in town, the highly revered wise man approached the scene.

He watched as a local boy hurled a fresh new insult towards the grumpy, smelly old man. Seeing how the onlooking crowd just laughed he felt sorrow for this man. He also witnessed something else. He watched how each fresh new insult made the grumpy, smelly old man just ever so slightly more smelly, and a little more grumpy.

And so he began to hatch a wise plan.

What happen next is true wisdom

He explained to the villagers how this man was suffering. The only cure for this great suffering, he said, was kindness. He told the local villagers that they must begin to praise the grumpy, smelly old man and bestow happiness upon him. For only this he said would heal the wounds of hatered found in this poor man’s heart.

On hearing this the villagers hearts went out to the grumpy old man.

“Welcome to our village” a young women said to the old man.

“You must be tired with all your walking let me help you” said another and gently took the old man’s shoulder.

And sure enough just like the wise man had said. Every time they welcomed the grumpy, smelly and old man into their hearts. And every time they bestowed praise and kindness towards him. He would become ever so slightly less smelly and a touch less grumpy.

And the more the villagers could see with their own eyes how sending kindness towards the grumpy old man was working. The more they praised him with their words of positivity, love and happiness. And the more the villagers gave compassion from their hearts the more the smelly, grumpy old man was becoming a happier and nicer person altogether.

Until eventually ever trace of the ugly, smelly, grumpy old man were replaced by a handsome, kindhearted and happy old man. He spent the rest of his days living in that wonderful little village. And became a life long student of the wise man who had turned his life around.

Author: Dhamma Tāpasā* (Andrew Hallas)

Moral of Story:

What we think we become! The more we feed our negativity the more it grows. If we add input to that negativity the more our minds produce the same type of thoughts. And around and around it goes.

Be careful what you think and say!

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*Dhamma Tāpasā is a fully trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. Now a Life Changing and inspirational Positive Coach, Mindfulness Trainer, Published Author and the creator of The Thrive & Revive 35 A Mind Training Challenge

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Published by 4enlightenment

Dhamma Tāpasā is the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas a fully trained and former Buddhist Monk who now Teaches & coaches the Art of Transforming Your Thinking to Transform Your Mind.

16 thoughts on “The Grumpy Old Man

  1. Hello Dhamma Tāpasā,
    My name is Justin and I’m the owner of the youtube channel Camtrendz with 28k subscribers. (
    My channel got demonetized a while back due to some new rules and after venturing away for a while I decided to come back and revive the channel with inspirational stories. Your stories are amazing and wanted to ask if I could use them for my channel! I would of course credit you and link your website.
    Also going around your website I found that you were looking for some help for bringing more eyes to your work. So wanted to suggest to you some ideas.
    A podcast? Sure I think people would love that, sharing your experience as a monk. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Jay Shetty but yeah he was a monk too who basically is now sharing his teaching through youtube, podcast etc. So a podcast is a great idea. It just required consistency. Also, videos are the future so I would definitely advise Youtube and TikTok. Once you reach 1000 subs and 4000 watch hours Youtube starts paying you by the views you bring so the more views the more money. You could share your teaching or meditation or even “vlogging your life”, like your routine or daily adventures. People love stuff like that but it requires you to be able to do some minor/basic editing and It’s also not an overnight process as it requires consistency. Long-term, Youtube is always a gold ticket.
    TikTok on the other side is really a traffic machine that can bring you views and success overnight even though is not as easy as I make it sound. The format is usually short videos under 1min but they started this new feature where you can now upload up to 3 min. Overall you can find thousands of people sharing literally everything you can imagine, from pranks to knowledge, to tutorials, etc. Your knowledge about life issues would work well there. You could make a series like Knowledge of former monk ep.1 or a simple caption like “How to XX by a former monk”, I’m just sharing a few ideas. When you surf around the app on spiritual subjects you will find some great ideas. The only downside is that it can be a very addictive app 🙂 .
    Oh lastly I almost forgot they LOVE DOGS or Animals in general and they love personal stories like if you explain your story, who you are, what you do and what you are trying to achieve in your journey a bit like you’ve described in your “Reaching a milestone and 100,000K all-time views” post with an emotional trending sound from the app) and you never know what can happen.
    I hope that you found some value in this post and I hope to hear back from you soon!

    Thank you and have a great day!


    1. 4enlightenment – Dhamma Tāpasā is the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas a fully trained and former Buddhist Monk who now Teaches & coaches the Art of Transforming Your Thinking to Transform Your Mind.
      4enlightenment says:

      Hi Justin

      What a wonderful and informative comment filled with inspirational advice, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share some of your ideas. I can see why you have made 28k subs with such a positive and kind attitude as yours. And as they say kindness goes a long way and I would be only to happy for you to use my stories especially as you also want to inspire others. Like you said I only require a credit and link to website. I Can’t wait to see what your imagination and creativity can produce from my little stories.

      Your advice is so welcomed and I am already started reading about Jay Shetty and it’s given me some good ideas. TikTok sounds interesting as does doing a podcast, and it’s exactly as you have said, consistency is the key. For the last few years I’ve lived without money only receiving what is freely given for help I give. However along with the growth of the website and the personal requests for help that have also grown it slowly became clear that I need to monetise myself to be able keep myself dedicated to helping others and running this website. (Something not so easy for an ex monk) all I know is all I’ve want to do is help others. Its been an awesome journey and taken a fair few years for all the knowledge I can offer to organically flourish into something unique and original, and at this exact moment am working hard in sorting something out, which is why your comments couldn’t be better timed, and once again appreciate the time and effort you gave.

      What a pleasure to talk to you Justin and I really look forward to seeing where your creativity can go with my little stories, whatever you produce will make me smile.

      Kind regards and have a great week

      Dhamma Tāpasā

      1. Hey, you are absolutely welcome I’m glad that you found some value and I’m so grateful to be able to use your stories! 🙂
        If you have any questions I will be more than happy to help in any way, so just feel free to ask away. We need more people like you who can share some important wisdom and raise the vibration of Mother Earth, especially in these times.
        I can fully relate to the financial aspect. My partner is an energy healer and to give freely and put others first is usually a similar trait that healer and monk have in common. Over time we too (with my partner) came to realize that to live in this 3D reality, the financial system plays an important role. For now at least.
        I’m also curious and wanted to ask how have you been able to live until now traveling around?
        I’m asking because I’m just getting the full idea of letting go and trusting but it’s not an easy exercise for the mind. I’ve read so many stories of people sharing how this type of life (The art of letting go/surrender) led them to always be provided a way or another or meet the right person at the right time. So I decided to start my own surrender experiment
        Anyway if you feel to discuss more or talk about anything, you can also message me privately at the same address I’m registered.

        PS: Have you read The Surrender Experiment by Michael A Singer?

        Genuinely rooting for your success in whichever venture you choose!

        Have a great week too!


      2. 4enlightenment – Dhamma Tāpasā is the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas a fully trained and former Buddhist Monk who now Teaches & coaches the Art of Transforming Your Thinking to Transform Your Mind.
        4enlightenment says:

        Good morning Justin, awesome to hear from you again, your messages are always welcomed as they are always so positive.

        I’ve not heard of the surrender experiment before, but it sounds like the ultimate way to live our lives. Living without expectations or judgement, focusing on nothing more than the moment and letting go. There is a beautiful practice as Thai Buddhist monks called Tudong which as a monk you just wandering living in the moment, without expectations of a good or bad outcome, learning to let go. Ultimate freedom. Or another way to put it would be enjoying life the way it IS rather than the way you think it should be.

        I’ve tried to explain this way of life to my extremely anxious parents, and I find it hard to explain where my next meal will come from and if I’m honest it defeats the purpose of living in the present moment with out expectations. how I manage to survive, well, It just sort of happens. But only if my mind is clear and grounded in the present moment. if something keeps bugging me, you know those type of thoughts that run around up there, then nothing works. Last week was a prime example, bad news of a friend being diagnosed with terminal cancer back in the uk, two really close friends in Portugal leaving back for England and my phone running out of credit (which I know makes my folks worried), this combination made me feel rather uncentred last week and as a result suffered greatly. You see so Clearly how all this unnecessary suffering is all my own doing. I can not blame any outer circumstances only my reaction to them. Last week I forgot this valuable snippet of wisdom.

        Meditation really is the life saver. If it wasn’t for seeing Nelson Mandela or personally meeting Thich Nhat Hanh at just those right moments in my life, those seeds may never have been planted. But as it happened at that moment when I so desperately needed my own guidance I had two humans as living examples of pure love and compassion as my reference point.

        I spent over 40 years of my life running from myself. At a very early age I learnt that my mind could be distracted with new and wonderful things I’d never seen or tried before, that excitement my mind was being given was enough to distract me from my childhood traumas, however it lead to a destructive life pattern of travel addiction, drug addiction, a divorce, bankruptcy, manic depression, anger issues and suicidal tendencies. Even after all the amazing travel, famous people I’d met, sights I’d seen, the loves I had, finally one day it all came crashing down and I was forced to look at myself squarely in the face. Looking back it was always going to end that way. With those two inspirational men who I had personally witnessed with their pure openness, kindhearted and compassionate mannerisms, I knew what I had to do. I spent years searching for somewhere to ordain as a monk and learn these secrets.

        I ordained in north Thailand and was the only white monk around, I became a celebrity, the infamous white monk, and as so spent most of my time as a Buddhist monk, basking in my own ego and the praise that was bestowed upon me. My Abbot saw as clear as day what was happening and when I left his company for the last time he told me to keep practicing because in 6 years things will become clear. And boy he was right, in my 6th year after leaving as a monk the penny finally dropped so to speak, it was then I began to practice diligently the meditation and mindfulness trainings and techniques I was so graciously given freely by my Abbott.

        I’m not fully enlightened like Thich Nhat Hanh or Mandela but can feel its presence, almost like those words you get stuck on the tip of your tongue. However I’m enjoying the journey so much at present and feel liberated from my sufferings of old. If I can share or pass on even just one sentence that sticks and plants those seeds for that someone to elevate their lives to new heights, I couldn’t ask for a better job.

        Perhaps subconsciously you have already begun this surrender experiment the moment you finished reading or researching about it, and I hope more than anything that maybe just maybe these words plant those seeds of enlightenment inside your heart just as others have for me.

        As always Justin an absolute pleasure to chat to you and wishing you every happiness for the coming week.

        Kind regards

        Dhamma Tāpasā

      3. 4enlightenment – Dhamma Tāpasā is the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas a fully trained and former Buddhist Monk who now Teaches & coaches the Art of Transforming Your Thinking to Transform Your Mind.
        4enlightenment says:

        Hi Justin

        One more thought just crossed my mind, only the night before you sent me your first message, I had suddenly had a inspirational break through and know from deep within my heart how I wish to take this website to the next level, I worked out my USP so to speak. Went to sleep knowing with 100% certainty this was my path.

        Then your message came with the name Jay Shetty! Couldn’t of been more perfectly timed, the exact thing I was looking for at the exact moment. Life truly is amazing.

        Dhamma Tāpasā

  2. Hi Dhamma Tāpasā,
    Thank you for sharing your story and opening up about your private life. You are absolutely right here with how the mind without discipline can take you to some scary imaginary places. Hell is often talked about as an imaginary place outside this world, however, people do create hell in their heads if they don’t take the time to discipline their minds.
    I always tried to practice the art of surrendering but I think I wasn’t grasping the full concept yet. The internet is full of knowledge and everyone interprets this concept differently so sometimes you end up even more confused. So yeah right now I needed to try something different, looking back at my life, my best blessings always came when I had a strong desire for something but was totally cool about it like going with the flow, surrendering. So right now I’m back to experimenting with this.
    I’m sorry about your friend. Is there really nothing that can be done? From a holistic point of view maybe? I’ve read so many stories where a similar diagnosis ended up with a miracle happening due to not accepting the outcome as true and choosing to fight to live. It often requires a change in lifestyle, diet, a lot of mental work as well as emotional healing. Dis-ease or often link to emotional traumas/trapped emotions that need to be addressed. Often we tend to keep everything within because we’ve never been taught how to deal with our emotions. These emotions are dense and end up lowering our vibration and immune system resulting in illnesses if kept untouched for too long.

    Businesswise, I’m happy to see that Jay Shetty resonated with you and the fact that my message came at the perfect moment makes this full conversation even more special like a touch from God/Universe. Another thing that came to my mind is that you could do this thing called repurposed content. Where you would film a long-format video for Youtube, use the audio as a podcast episode for Spotify, and then use key moments of that video for short videos for Tiktok and Instagram. This is a strategy that big speakers often use to spread their message fast while not having to spend extra time filming new content every time.

    As I mentioned in my previous message my partner is an energy healer. Here is her page:
    I told her about our conversation and since she’s been a monk in a previous life she can relate to your story and the financial aspect and rules. Monks or healers, tend to make “indirect” wows of poverty by committing to serve and help from the heart. She’s willing to offer you a healing session free of charge from her heart to help you with that if you wish. Feel free to message her. As I said we need more people like you and even healers to help raise the vibration of this planet so if it also means helping each other, I’m up for it! 🙂

    Kind regards


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