The Grumpy, Smelly 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.

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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 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.

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, he saw how the onlooking crowd just laughed, but he also witnessed something else. He watched how each fresh new insult also 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.

He explained to the villagers how this poor man was suffering greatly, and that the only cure for this great suffering 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, 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*

Moral of Story:

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

Be careful what you think and say!

Finding things that make us feel more positive and motivated should be our number one priority. Using the simple 7 Wonders Of Life task to find out what makes us truly happy is always a good starting point. The 7 Wonders Of Life idea started when I was a Buddhist monk and I would use it to shift the foreign visitors minds away from the negative and more towards a positive frame set, by focusing more on the positives that we already have in our lives then the negative. Give it a go it’s a great starting point.

*Dhamma Tāpasā a trained ex Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. An inspirational teacher of mindfulness and meditation techniques through the art of storytelling. Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture our imaginations whilst teaching us valuable moral principles and deepening our understanding of the human consciousness and the everyday problems we face.


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