Kamis, 11 Agustus 2011

Short Stories

Below is a list of stories taken from Paulo Coelho's Blog. He is my favorite writer, author, poet, artist, or whatever you may call it. Just read them, and you will find them not just inspirational, but can also bring peace to your mind and soul... And please, spread this link/page if you care enough to let other people read these.

How To Level Out The World

Once when Confucius was traveling with his disciples, he heard about a very intelligent boy who was living in a particular village.
Confucius went to speak with him and asked him jokingly:
‘How would you like to help me correct all the irregularities and inequalities in the world?’
‘But why?’ asked the boy.
‘If we flattened the mountains, the birds would have no shelter. If we filled up the deep rivers and the sea, the fish would die. The world is vast enough to cope with differences.’
The disciples left feeling greatly impressed by the boy’s wisdom. But Confucius said:
‘I’ve known many children who, instead of playing and doing the things appropriate to their age, were busy trying to understand the world.
‘ Not one of those precocious children did anything of any great significance later in life because they had never experienced the innocence and healthy irresponsibility of childhood.’

The One Who Cared Most

The writer Leo Buscaglia was once invited to be on the jury of a school competition to find ‘the child who cared most for others’.
The winner was a boy whose neighbour, a gentleman of over eighty, had just been widowed.
When he saw the old man sitting in his garden crying, the boy jumped over the fence, sat on the man’s lap and stayed there for a long time.
When he went back home, his mother asked him what he had said to the poor man.
‘Nothing,’ said the boy. ‘He’s lost his wife and that must have really hurt.
“I just went over to help him to cry.”


The Game of Chess

Illustration by Ken Crane

A young man said to the abbot of a monastery:

‘I would really like to become a monk, but I have learned nothing of importance in my life. My father only taught me how to play chess, and I was told that all games are sinful.’

The abbot called for a chessboard and summoned a monk to play with the young man. However, before the game began, he added:

‘We also need diversion, but we will have only the best players here. If our monk loses, he will leave the monastery, thus creating an opening for you.’

The abbot was deadly serious.
The young man played an aggressive game, but then he noticed the saintly look in the monk’s eyes, and from then on, he began to play deliberately badly.
He decided that he would rather lose because he felt that the monk could prove far more useful to the world than him.

Suddenly, the abbot overturned the chessboard onto the floor.

‘You learned far more than you were taught,’ he said. ‘You have the powers of concentration necessary to win and you are capable of fighting for what you want, but you also have compassion and the ability to sacrifice yourself for a noble cause.
‘ You have shown yourself capable of balancing discipline and mercy; welcome to our monastery!’


Careful With Your Work

Illustration by Ken Crane
As a boy, Abin-Alsar overheard a conversation between his father and a dervish.
“Careful with your work”, said the dervish. “Think of what future generations will say about you.”
“So what?”, replied his father, “When I die, everything shall end, and it will not matter what they say.”
Abin-Alsar never forgot that conversation.
During his whole life, he made an effort to do good, to help people and go about his work with enthusiasm.
He became well-known for his concern for others.
When he died, he left behind a great number of things which improved the quality of life in his town.
On his tombstone, he had the following epitaph engraved:
“A life which ends with death, is a life not well spent.”

Covering The Sun

Illustration by Ken Crane
A disciple went to Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav:
– I shall not continue with my studies of sacred texts – he said. – I live in a small house with my brothers and parents, and never have the ideal conditions for concentrating on that which is important.
Nachman pointed to the sun and asked his disciple to place his hand over his face, in order to hide it.
The disciple obeyed.
– Your hand is small, yet it can completely cover the power, light and majesty of the great sun.
“In the same way, the small problems manage to give you the excuse you need in order to hinder your progress along your spiritual journey.
“Just as your hand has the power to hide the sun, mediocrity has the power to hide your inner light.
“Do not blame others for your own incompetence.”

Insult The Dead

A novice went to Abbot Macarius seeking advice about the best way to please the Lord.
- Go to the cemetery and insult the dead – said Macarius.
The brother did as he was told. The following day, he returned to Macarius.
- Did they respond? – asked the abbot.
The novice said no, they didn’t.
- Then go to them and praise them.
The novice obeyed. That same afternoon, he returned to the abbot, who again wished to know whether the dead had responded.
- No – said the novice.
- In order to please the Lord, behave as they do – said Macarius.
“Pay no heed to the insults of men, nor to their praise; in this way, you shall forge your own path.”

The Best Temptation

Illustration by Ken Crane
A group of devils were trying to enter the soul of a holy man who lived near Cairo; they had already tempted him with Nubian women, Egyptian food, Libyan treasure, but nothing had worked.
One day, Satan passed and saw his servants’ efforts.
- You’re hopeless – said Satan. – You haven’t used the only technique no one can resist; I’ll teach you.
He went over to the holy man and whispered in his ear:
- Remember the priest who studied under you? He’s just been made Bishop of Alexandria.
Immediately, the holy man was filled with rage, and blasphemed against God’s injustice.
- The next time, use this temptation – said Satan to his subjects.
“Men can resist almost everything, but they are always jealous of the victory of a fellow man.”

Chocolate
Two boys used to go to school together.
One of them had a bad habit of stealing the chocolates from his friend’s bag.
One day he felt guilty about what he was doing… So he wrote a letter as he didn’t have the courage to confess directly.
“I have been stealing your chocolates… I’m sorry for that…’
The other friend smiled reading it, and sent a letter back:
“Don’t worry. I know about it… That’s why I keep chocolates in the same place in my bag…’

Just Like Marriage
Nasrudin spent the entire autumn working his garden. The flowers had blossomed in the spring – and Nasrudin noticed a few dandelions appearing, which he hadn’t planted.

Nasrudin tore them up. But the pollen had already spread and others began to grow. He tried to find a weed killer which only killed dandelions. A specialist told him any type of poison would end up killing all the other flowers. In despair, he went to ask a gardener for help.

- It is like a marriage – said the gardener. – Along with the good things, a few little inconveniences always appear.

- What can I do? – insisted Nasrudin.
- Learn how to love them . Although they are flowers you did not count on, they are still part of the garden.




How Poor We Are


Illustration by Ken Crane
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad”.
“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.
“Oh yes”, said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered:
“I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
“We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden and they have a creek that has no end.
“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
“We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
“We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added:
“Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

A Saint in the Wrong Place
‘Why is it that some people can resolve the most complicated problems really easily, whilst others agonize over every tiny crisis and end up drowning in a glass of water?’ I asked.
Ramesh replied by telling the following story:
‘Once upon a time, there was a man who had been the soul of kindness all his life.
When he died, everyone assumed that he would go straight to Heaven, for the only possible place for a good man like him was Paradise.
The man wasn’t particularly bothered about going to Heaven, but that was where he went.
Now in those days, service in heaven was not all that it might be.
The reception desk was extremely inefficient, and the girl who received him gave only a cursory glance through the index cards before her and when she couldn’t find the man’s name, she sent him straight to Hell.
And in Hell no one asks to check your badge or your invitation, for anyone who turns up is invited in. The man entered and stayed.
Some days later, Lucifer stormed up to the gates of Heaven to demand an explanation from St Peter.
“What you’re doing is pure terrorism!” he said. “You sent that man down into Hell, and he’s completely undermining me! Right from the start, there he was listening to people, looking them in the eye, talking to them.
“And now everyone’s sharing their feelings and hugging and kissing. That’s not the sort of thing I want in Hell! Please, let him into Heaven!’
When Ramesh had finished telling the story, he looked at me fondly and said:

‘Live your life with so much love in your heart that if, by mistake, you were sent to Hell, the Devil himself would deliver you up to Paradise.’

Body and Soul

 
 
In the middle of a storm, a pilgrim reaches an inn and the owner asks where he is going.
“I’m going to the mountains,” he answers.
“Forget it,” says the innkeeper, “it’s a risky climb, and the weather is awful.”
“But I’m going up,” answers the pilgrim.”It is my dream”.
“If my heart got there first, it will be easy to follow it with my body.”


Would Anyone Know the Difference?
A friend tells me the story of a father who took his two boys to play mini-golf. At the ticket office he wanted to know the price.
- Five coins for adults, three for those over six years. Under six years entry is free.
- One of them is three, the other seven. I’ll pay for the oldest.
- You are silly – said the ticket seller. You could have saved three coins, saying that the oldest was under six; I would never have known the difference.
- That may be, but the boys would know. And they would remember the bad example for ever.

Keeping Friends

When she was eleven years old, Anita went to her mother to complain.
“I can’t manage to have friends. They all stay away from me because I’m so jealous.”
Her mother was taking care of newly-born chickens, and Anita held up one of them, which immediately tried to escape.
The more the girl squeezed it in her hands, the more the chicken struggled.
Her mother said: “try holding it gently.”
Anita obeyed her. She opened her hands and the chicken stopped struggling.
She began to stroke it and the chicken cuddled up between her fingers.
“Human beings are like that too,” said her mother. “If you want to hold onto them by any means, they escape. But if you are kind to them, they will remain for ever by your side.”
Appointment in Bokhara
A merchant asked his servant to go to the market to buy some pieces of cloth.
Upon reaching the market, the servant saw his own Death shopping at the store near him.
Terrified, he ran back to the merchant’s house.
“I have to leave now, “he said, almost crying. “I saw my death this morning in the market, and I have to escape. I will go to Bokhara, my village, to spend the weekend there. ”
The merchant accepts the plea of the servant, but is wary. He decides to go to the market, where he finds the Death of the servant.
“Wow, you frightened my employee,” said the merchant.
“He also frightened me ” replied Death. “I never expected to find him around here as I have an appointment with him in Bokhara. ”

True Importance
Jean was out walking with his grandfather in Paris.
At one point, they saw a shoemaker being insulted by a customer who claimed that there was something wrong with his shoes.
The shoemaker calmly listened to his complaints, apologised and promised to make good the mistake.

Jean and his grandfather stopped to have a coffee.
At the next table, the waiter asked a man if he would mind moving his chair slightly so that he could get by.
The man erupted in a torrent of abuse and refused to move.

‘Never forget what you have seen,’ said Jean’s grandfather.
‘The shoemaker accepted the customer’s complaint, while this man next to us did not want to move.
‘People who perform some useful task are not bothered if they hear some critics to their work, but people who do no useful work at all always think themselves very important and hide their incompetence behind their authority.’

The Porcupines and Solidarity
Illustration by Ken Crane
During the Ice Age many animals died because of the cold. Seeing this situation, the porcupines decided to group together, so they wrapped up well and protected one another.
But they hurt one another with their thorns, and so then they decided to stay apart from one another.
They started to freeze to death again.
So they had to make a choice: either they vanished from the face of the earth or they accepted their neighbor’s thorns.
They wisely decided to stay together again. They learned to live with the small wounds that a very close relationship could cause, because the most important thing was the warmth given by the other.
And in the end they survived.

Barbers Don't Exist
A man went to trim his hair and beard. As always happens, he and the barber chatted about this and that, until – commenting on a newspaper article about street kids – the barber stated:
- As you can see, this tragedy shows that God doesn’t exist. Don’t you read the papers? So many people suffer, abandoned children, there’s so much crime. If God existed, there wouldn’t be so much suffering.
- You know something? Barbers don’t exist.
- What do you mean, don’t exist? I’m here, and I’m a barber.
- They don’t exist! – insisted the man. – Because if they did, there wouldn’t be people with such longs beards and such tangled hair.
- I can guarantee that barbers do exist. But these people never come in here.
- Exactly! So, in answer to your question, God exists, too. It just so happens that people don’t go to Him. If they did, they would be more giving, and there wouldn’t be so much misery in the world.

The Muddy Road

Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once.
Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself.
“We monks can’t be near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

The Drunkard Disciples
Illustration by Ken Crane
A Zen master had hundreds of disciples. They all prayed at the right time, except one, who was always drunk.
The master was growing old. Some of the more virtuous pupils began to wonder who would be the new leader of the group, the one who would receive the important secrets of the Tradition.
On the eve of his death, however, the master called the drunkard disciple and revealed the hidden secrets to him.
A veritable revolt broke out among the others.
“How shameful!” they cried in the streets, “We have sacrificed ourselves for the wrong master, one who can’t see our qualities.”
Hearing the commotion outside, the dying master remarked:
“I had to pass on these secrets to a man that I knew well. All my pupils are very virtuous, and showed only their qualities. That is dangerous, for virtue often serves to hide vanity, pride and intolerance. That is why I chose the only disciple whom I know really well, since I can see his defect: drunkenness.”

Memories and Salt
I arrive in Madrid at eight o’clock in the morning. I will only be here a few hours, so it’s not worth phoning friends and arranging to see them. I decide to go for a walk alone in my favourite places, and I end up sitting smoking a cigarette on a bench in the Retiro Park.
‘You look miles away,’ says an old man, joining me on the bench.
‘Oh, I’m here,’ I say, ‘but I’m sitting on this same bench with a painter friend of mine, Anastasio Ranchal, 24 years ago in 1986. We are both watching my wife, Christina, who has had a bit too much to drink and is trying to dance the flamenco.’
‘Enjoy your memories,’ says the old man.
‘But don’t forget that memory is like salt: the right amount brings out the flavour in food, too much ruins it. If you live in the past all the time, you’ll find yourself with no present to remember.’

Problems

Illustration by Ken Crane
There was once a well-known scholar, who lived in a mountain in the Himalayas. Tired of living with men, he had chosen a simple life and spent most of his time meditating.
His fame, however, was so great that people were willing to walk narrow paths, climb steep hills, swim rivers – to meet the holy man who was believed to be able to resolve any trouble of the human heart.
The wise man said nothing but asked them to sit and wait. Three days passed, and more people arrived. When there was no room for anyone else, he addressed the people who were outside his door.
“Today I will give the answer that everyone wants. But you must promise that, to have your problems solved, you will not tell the new pilgrims that I moved here – so that you can continue to live in the solitude you so much crave. Tell me your problems” .
Someone began to speak, but was soon interrupted by others, as everyone knew that this was the last public hearing that the holy man was giving. The wise man let the situation be prolonged a little, until he cried, “Silence! Write your problems down and put the papers in front of me,” he said.
When everyone finished, the wise man mixed all the papers in a basket, then said, “Keep this basket moving amongst you. Each of you will take a paper, and read it. You will then choose whether to keep your problems, or take the one given to you.”
Each person took a sheet of paper, read it, and was horrified. They concluded that what they had written, however bad it was, was not as serious as what ailed his neighbor. Two hours later, they exchanged papers amongst themselves, and each one had to put their personal problems back into his or her pocket, relieved that their distress was not as hard as they once thought.
Grateful for the lesson, they went down the mountain with the certainty that they were happier than all the others, and – fulfilling the promise made – never let anyone disturb the peace of the holy man.

Together
Juan always attended Sunday services at his parish. But then he began to find that the pastor always said the same things, so he stopped going to church.
On a cold winter’s night two months later, the pastor paid him a visit.
“He must have come to try to convince me to go back,” Juan thought to himself. He imagined he could not tell the real reason: those boring sermons. He had to find an excuse, and as he was thinking he pulled two chairs up close to the hearth and began talking about the weather.
The pastor said nothing. Juan, after some vain attempts to start up a conversation, sat in silence too. They both sat there without speaking, just looking at the fire for close to half an hour.
Then the pastor rose, and with the help of a branch that had not yet burned, pulled an ember aside and placed it far from the fire.
The ember, without enough heat to go on burning, began to go out. Juan quickly tossed it back into the middle of the fire.
“Good night,” said the pastor, rising to leave.
“Good night and many thanks,” answered Juan. “No matter how bright it is, an ember removed from the fire will end up going out quickly.
“No matter how clever a man may be, far from his neighbors he will never manage to conserve his heat and his flame.”

Those are the some of the stories which have inspired me, a little or more. You can find more of them at http://paulocoelhoblog.com . And for one more time, please spread the stories, if you think someone is in need of them. Spread the love.

4 komentar:

Journey To Asia mengatakan...

That's was nice story to tell my son.
It's look like a collection of child story?

Boy Andri mengatakan...

@Journey To Asia as I said, it was taken from Paulo Coelho's blog. But I do recall one of the stories in a Buddhism book... So maybe, just maybe, you'll find one of them in a child stories book.

klaravirencia mengatakan...

Gue juga demen parahhhhh sama short-storiesnya Paulo Coelho. 'Careful With Your Work' appears to be my favourite <3

Boy Andri mengatakan...

@klaravirencia semua ceritanya Paulo itu bener-bener ngajarin kita something dengan cara yang "something" juga. Keren abiss semuanya...

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