What is the one phase in life you mustn’t grow out of? The Story phase.

Do you remember the bedtime stories you heard as a child? Do you still feel the euphoria of being pulled up into the stories and living a life very different from your own? I do.

These days, I am more of a storyteller than an audience. I think childhood is much better than adulthood because of that one unique quality where we listen more than we speak, where we learn much more than we teach. If only we could still be kids in those aspects life would be much easier.

Breaking from tradition, today, I was the recipient of storytelling rather than my kids. Today, my dad had a story to tell and I was as raptured by it as I was during my childhood days when I used to listen to stories told by my grandparents and parents. For those few moments, I was once again a child as enraptured by my dad’s story as ever. I guess parents have that power of keeping the child in you alive, I hope I can do the same for my kids. Anyway, the old Indian fable goes like this:

A guru wanted an important task to be done. He wanted a disciple worthy of doing the same. So he chose his best three disciples and gave them a test, whoever succeeded in the test would be chosen for the task. He called his disciples, gave them each a pot full of oil and said, “Keep this pot in the centre of that road. Bring it to me in the morning and ensure that you don’t spill even a single drop of the oil”.

The road on which they had to keep the pot of oil was a road frequented by cows and unlike humans you couldn’t expect them not to hit the pot in their hurry to return back to their abode (these days probably humans too won’t bother about what’s in their way)

Next morning, the first disciple came, placed the potful of oil near his feet and said: “Master you gave us an impossible task, I couldn’t do it for the fear of the cows hitting the pot”.  Hearing this the master was disappointed and sent the disciple away.

The second disciple approached him and said: “Master, I tried my best to do as you instructed, but I couldn’t save all of the oil, a little of it spilled when a cow hit the pot”. The master was disappointed but kindly let him know that he was happy that he tried.

Then came the third disciple, he promptly placed the potful of oil near the master’s feet and stood back with folded palms. The master was surprised and asked “How?” The disciple said: “Master, you asked me to keep the pot of oil in the centre of the road but you did not mention how long I should have kept it. Hence I kept the pot on the road, picked it up and went back home, now the pot is in front of you as you commanded”. The master gave a smile of satisfaction and chose the smart disciple for the task he wanted him to do.

So, what did you learn from the story? Out-of-the-box thinking? Lateral thinking? Common Sense? Do you also think that we have cultivated the habit of overthinking the simplest of problems? That we want grand solutions for simple problems?

We often tend to hear more than we listen, see more than observe. Most of the times we are on auto mode going through the daily rituals of our life. We are losing the art of patience, calmness and conscious living. Observe the people around you. The people you admire and look up to, they definitely would have the qualities of passion, energy, patience and calmness in a heady mix of cocktail within them. A proper balance of activity and inertia is essential for growth. So, why can’t we slow down? Take a deep breath before we jump into our next big thing. It is not as if we will run out of big things to do. What is the compulsive need for hurry?Remember that the deeper the ocean the calmer it is and everybody knows the sheer amount of life an ocean contains within itself.

I was mesmerized by my dad’s story. It is an ancient Indian story, but it is fabulously relevant even today as it ever was. So while I thank my dad for making another one of my day with an inspiring story, I urge you all to return to your childhood memories from time to time and pull out the gems of lessons from that long gone time and pass on to your kids or people around you and make their day too.

So do you have any inspiring beautiful stories to share? I welcome you all to share them and make somebody’s day.

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