Tag Archive | ethics

Paid in Full

Paid in Full

A little boy went up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper.  He handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his mum dried her hands on the apron she was wearing, she read it, and this is what it said:

For cutting the grass: $5.00

For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00

For going to the store for you: $.50

For baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25

For taking out the garbage: $1.00

For getting a good report card: $5.00

For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00

Total owed: $80.00

Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see that she was in deep thought. Then his mother picked up a pen, turned over the paper he had written on, and this is what she wrote:

For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge.

For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, nursed and prayed for you: No Charge.

For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge.

For all the nights filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge.

For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge.

When you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight up at his mother and said,

“Mom, I sure do love you.”

And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote:

“Paid in full!”

More Stories for Adults

Pay It Forward!

What Goes Round Comes Round

Author Unknown

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you. He said,

 “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added,

“And think of me.”

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote:

“You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.”

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard….

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low,

“Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

More Moral Tales

The Lesson That Cannot Be Taught!

The Shepherd

From: Jamiat of South Africa ( http://www.jamiat.org.za,)

Once upon a time, there lived in Basra an old man whose only occupation was to care for and love his only son.
The old man invested all his money in his son’s education.

The young man went away for a few years and acquired an education at a well known university under the great scholars of that age.

The day had arrived for the son to return from his studies and the old man waited at the door for his son. When the son came and met his father, the old man looked into his eyes and felt great disappointment.

    “What have you learnt my son?” he asked,

    “I have learnt everything there was to be learnt, father”, he said.

    “But have you learnt what cannot be taught?” asked the father.

    “Go, my son and learn what cannot be taught”, said the old man.

The young man went back to his master and asked him to teach him what cannot be taught.

    “Go away to the mountains with these four hundred sheep and come back when they are one thousand”, said the master.

The young man went to the mountains and became a shepherd.

There for the first time he encountered a silence.

He had no one to talk to. The sheep did not understand his language. In his desperation, he would talk to them, but they would look back at him as if to say he was stupid.

Slowly but surely he began to forget all his worldly knowledge, his ego, his pride and he became quiet like the sheep and great wisdom and humility came to him.

At the end of two years when the number of sheep had grown to one thousand, he returned to his master and fell to his knees.

    “Now you have learnt what cannot be taught,” said the master.

More Moral Tales
When the Waters Were Changed
The Flowering Tree
The Emperor’s New Clothes
The House of Three Rooms
All Things Are Linked!
Love and Time
The Gift of Sharing https://hwaairfan.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/the-gift-of-sharing/
Climbing the Mountain
The Sieve
The Echo of Life
How Not to Master a Skill!
Fajr and Shaytan
Live to Work or Work to Live!

Egypt’s Creative Talent: Vanishing Within Education? 

Egypt’s Creative Talent: Vanishing Within Education?

By Mohammed Hashem

CAIRO: There is much to say about the state of the arts and the potential of being perceived as artistic. The extraordinary phenomenon that is the human creative mind is abstract, vast and at the same time distinctive. In saying that, there is the need to harness one’s capabilities and there also lies an ethical responsibility to further develop and explore talent.

Our education system today boasts academic ability and a vision for an important future. A hierarchy set in place to achieve a future, with subjects pertaining to the arts at the thin end of a structured spectrum: whilst mathematics, science, language and then the humanities all bound up with a higher respectability. In other words most children are-so it seems- somewhat discouraged; steering away from such things of creative stimulation.

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” In saying that, Pablo Picasso must have known of some of the factors that impede, slow down or even eradicate our initial tendency to move abstractly. The keenness to have a go and not be frightened of what other people have to say: even if what you are saying or doing is wrong, is something that adults find extremely difficult. I for one can vouch for that! Playing out one’s fantasy and just going for it might seem absurd but it is exactly this level of spontaneity and adventure which is lacking overall in a worldwide school curriculum.

If you have ever been told not to study music, for you won’t become a musician or even a novelist because your writings might end up on some lonely park bench without a reader, then you are certainly not alone. Sir Ken Robinson’s video titled “Is education killing creativity,” really reminded me of people I had met who were-to say the least- amazingly talented and who would shine without inhibition, however sadly weren’t in the right jobs or even in properly allocated frameworks; their confident stance and original perspectives were shunned, quite ruthlessly.

Sir Ken asks why emphasis is put on literacy as opposed to a natural calling and why the education system starts to teach children from the waist up and then focuses only on their heads and then only one side. “Academic ability has really dominated our view of intelligence and the consequence is that highly talented people think they are not.”

Education has become in many opinions like a production machine, where what you put in will ultimately come out as a commodity, an investment typically, to facilitate industry. All the while leaving behind what could have been; wonderfully interactive minds, dynamic and tremendous thought and instead a whole lot of adults not knowing where their talents truly lie. A study from the University of Alabama, U.S. by Barton and Cohen “Classroom Gender Composition and Peer Relations,” examines what is seen as a narrow secular meaning of the word “education” and that future generations will be less predisposed to acts of nature. The study found that overt aggression was on the increase, which is more demonstrative and physical in boys, whereas girls demonstrated a relational aggression which is based on manipulation, intimidation and victimization.

These results were linked to the lack of cultural and artistic activities, which according to the study develops positive, emotional and sensitive behavior, through touch and hands on experience. Boys seemed to be more spatial, impulsive and more physical and so they needed to walk around without being made to feel disruptive. “There are those who have to move to think.”

The interaction of people should be a celebration of the human imagination and rather, the whole being should be educated. There is an obvious overall ill health of what is being provided in schools and we must collectively rethink what exactly we are educating our children into. Randomness, openness to accident and serendipity are all just small steps on our journey of becoming and as Henri Matisse put it, “An artist should never be prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success.”

Humbling thought that.

The Gift of Sharing 

The Gift of Sharing

Author Unknown

I heard this story a long time ago, and it has remained with me ever since.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, and where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those afternoons when his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside as described.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Couples walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed like this, then…

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths, only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

In his loss, the man realized that his deceased friend had left him the greatest legacy, himself!

This story can be found on Spiritual-Short-Stories.com

Related Topics:
Love and Time
All Things Are Linked!
One is the Loneliest Number
The House of Three Rooms
The Emperor’s New Clothes
The Flowering Tree
When the Waters Were Changed

When the Waters Were Changed 

It was on BBC World Service, for all its sins that I recall a reporter (whose name I know not) who replied to a question that surpasses me that she could not imagine if everywhere in the world was the same. As someone who liked to travel, and had a career that allowed her to, she appreciated the diverse, colors, sounds, and ways of life that she has been privileged to see.

If someone behaves differently, does this make them unacceptable, and as a result everything they do? Whatever contribution they have to make will their opinion count?

Could you imagine a world where everyone dressed the same, thought, and behaved the same, had the same likes and dislikes? If we all perceived the world in the same way, if there was something wrong with it, who would see about putting it right?

From ‘Tales of the Dervishes’ by Idries Shah

When the Waters Were Changed

Once upon a time Khidr, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially hoarded, would disappear. It would then be renewed, with different water, which would drive men mad.

Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it, and waited for the water to change its character.

On the appointed date the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water.

When he saw the waterfalls again begin to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men.
He found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before; yet they had no memory of what had happened, nor of having been warned.

When he tried to talk to them, he realized that they thought that he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding.

At first, he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day.

Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else.

He drank the new water, and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.