Some Power-packed Short Stories
I want to start my post today with a story that I know many readers would be familiar with. Nonetheless, I would still like to go ahead with it because of its stellar impact.
The title of the story is, Six Blind Men and The Elephant
For those readers who haven’t heard this story, it goes like this.
Once, six blind men together chance upon an elephant. On their way back home, they meet a friend. Excited, they start to tell their friend about their experience.
The first man said, “You know the elephant was so big, like a wall. I kept moving my hand along without reaching the end.”
The second man said, “What did you say, like a wall? No, my friend, the elephant is like a long rope suspended in the air. I wish I could find out where it came from.”
The third blind man exclaimed, “A rope suspended in the air! How can that be? The elephant was like a big round pillar.”
The fourth blind man quickly added, “You are right, my friend.”
And the fifth person couldn’t wait as he said, “An elephant is not like a pillar at all. It is a smooth and thick hard rod that gets pointed at the end.
And the sixth one sadly shook his head saying, “It was smooth but soft, like a big upturned snake.”
But before the blind persons could get carried away by their descriptions and confront one another, their friend said, “All of you are right. You don’t know that the elephant is so big that each one of you could touch only one of its parts. You all have rightly described what you have seen. But the elephant is all of it put together.”
He then took all of them to the elephant and made each one of them touch and feel all the six parts of the elephant. Indeed it was a pretty cumbersome exercise for all the seven people. But it was worth the outcome.
The dispute and hard feelings for each other had vanished. They were happy at knowing about the elephant completely and correctly. They felt grateful toward their friend who had taken so much pain for them.
However, the best outcome was the learning they got. Before reacting to any situation, they learned to look for the complete picture. Indeed, they were a happy lot with many of their disagreements dissolving away.
How I wish, someone like the wise friend would drill into us the reality of the whole picture! Just that realization is enough to drive away from the acidic anger and despair we feel most of the time. The problems due to different perspectives might not go away but seeing the problems in the correct and complete perspective would bring peace of mind and perhaps fresh solutions too. Life would become so much calm and enriched then.
Will you allow me to start one more oft-repeated story with a powerful impact?
The King and his Subjects
In olden times, in a kingdom, there was no rain a particular year and all the people were suffering a lot. The king called upon the wise people in his court to suggest a solution. He decided to act upon the suggestion of the holy priest.
So, he got a huge tank built at the site near the royal temple. Some sacred rituals were performed there. After that, people were asked to pour in a small pitcher of milk in the tank on the coming new moon night. That would ensure the onset of rains said the royal priest.
On the morning that followed, the King and the royal courtiers reached the site. No one was prepared for what they saw. The tank was overflowing with water.
What followed is best left to the readers’ imagination because my mind just changed its direction. It was no longer interested in knowing the facts.
Just like the small drops that together make the mighty ocean, our individual actions too add up to a mighty powerful outcome. Each person had surely thought that it would make no difference if he put a pitcher of water as all others would be putting in milk.
Please pardon me for taking advantage of this one-sided communication. I wish to end this hub with yet another impactful short story, The Power of an Idea.
This particular story was narrated to me by my father. But I think it is often cited in business management classes. It is about the power of ideas. My father was a self-made businessman with no one to guide him. As a naive schoolgirl, I could never appreciate business over service.
So, once he told me that a toothpaste manufacturer was facing losses in his business and he hired a consultant. The consultant must have charged a hefty sum but the advice he gave was worth every penny. He said this: You only need to enlarge the size of your tube opening.
I must admit, fifty years later, I am still wonder-struck at the power of the idea and salute the man who could think in such a manner.
Needless to say, the businessman followed the advice and was soon making huge profits. With the bigger opening of the tube, the sales automatically went higher.