Sand and Stone
A story tells of two friends who were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, she wrote in the sand:
"TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE"
They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but her friend saved her. After she recovered from the near drowning, she wrote on a stone:
"TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE"
The friend, who had slapped and saved her best friend, asked her, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?"
The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so no wind can ever erase it."
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.
The Traveler and the Monk
One day a traveler was walking along a road on his journey from one village to another. As he walked he noticed a monk tending the ground in the fields beside the road. The monk said "Good day" to the traveler, and the traveler nodded to the monk. The traveler then turned to the monk and said "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?""Not at all," replied the monk.
"I am travelling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it is like in the village in the valley?"
"Tell me," said the monk, "What was your experience of the village in the mountains?"
"Dreadful," replied the traveler, "to be honest I am glad to be away from there. I found the people most unwelcoming. When I first arrived I was greeted coldly. I was never made to feel part of the village no matter how hard I tried. The villagers keep very much to themselves, they don't take kindly to strangers. So tell me, what can I expect in the village in the valley?"
"I am sorry to tell you," said the monk, "but I think your experience will be much the same there".
The traveler hung his head despondently and walked on.
A while later another traveler was journeying down the same road and he also came upon the monk.
"I'm going to the village in the valley," said the second traveler, "Do you know what it is like?"
"I do," replied the monk "But first tell me - where have you come from?"
"I've come from the village in the mountains."
"And how was that?"
"It was a wonderful experience. I would have stayed if I could but I am committed to travelling on. I felt as though I was a member of the family in the village. The elders gave me much advice, the children laughed and joked with me and people were generally kind and generous. I am sad to have left there. It will always hold special memories for me. And what of the village in the valley?" he asked again.
"I think you will find it much the same" replied the monk, "Good day to you".
"Good day and thank you," the traveler replied, smiled, and journeyed on.
The Bedtime Story
A man and his wife had been arguing all night, and as bedtime approached neither was speaking to the other. It was not unusual for the pair to continue this war of silence for two or three days, however, on this occasion the man was concerned; he needed to be awake at 4:30am the next morning to catch an important flight, and being a very heavy sleeper he normally relied on his wife to wake him. Cleverly, so he thought, while his wife was in the bathroom, he wrote on a piece of paper: 'Please wake me at 4:30am - I have an important flight to catch'. He put the note on his wife's pillow, then turned over and went to sleep.The man awoke the next morning and looked at the clock. It was 8:00am. Enraged that he'd missed his flight, he was about to go in search of his errant wife to give her a piece of his mind, when he spotted a hand-written note on his bedside cabinet.
The note said: 'It's 4:30am - get up.'
The Naval Stand-Off Story
This story is an 'alleged' transcript of an actual radio conversation between a US naval ship and Canadian maritime contact off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. The tale, in various versions and featuring different nationalities, has circulated widely in emails and in books for many years, and has been used by numerous speakers and writers to illustrate lessons relating to negotiation, making assumptions, and related themes. Unfortunately it is not true, but it is nevertheless a great story. If using this as a teaching analogy, you will probably be forgiven for not revealing the truth of the matter until after telling the story.
Americans: "Please divert your course 15 degrees North to avoid a collision."
Canadians: "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees South to avoid collision."
Americans: "This is the captain of a US navy ship; I say again divert your course."
Canadians: "No. I say again, you divert YOUR course."
Americans: "THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP."
Canadians: "We are a lighthouse; your call."
The Bath and the Bucket
A party of suppliers was being given a tour of a mental hospital. One of the visitors had made some very insulting remarks about the patients.
After the tour the visitors were introduced to various members of staff in the canteen. The rude visitor chatted to one of the security staff, Bill, a kindly and wise ex-policeman. "Are they all raving loonies in here then?" said the rude man.
"Only the ones who fail the test," said Bill.
"What's the test?" said the man.
"Well, we show them a bath full of water, a bucket, a jug and an egg-cup, and we ask them what's the quickest way to empty the bath," said Bill.
"Oh I see, simple - the normal ones know it's the bucket, right?"
"No actually," said Bill, "The normal ones say pull out the plug. Should I check when there's a bed free for you?"