an old man begs on the street

A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by  “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old tattered hat. “I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger.

Then he asked:  “Whats that you are sitting on?” “Nothing” replied the beggar.  “Just an old box,  I have been sitting on it as long as I can remember.”  “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger.  “No,”  said the beggar.  ” What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.”

“Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation he saw that the box was filled with gold.a box filled with gold coins

This stranger who has nothing to give you either is telling you to look inside. Not inside any box, as in the parable, but somewhere even closer, inside yourself.

“But  I am not a beggar!” he hears you say.

Those of us who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of being, and the deep unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth.

They are looking for scraps of pleasure or fulfilment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.


Vietnamese soldiers go off to war

In Vietnam, there is a famous story about a young couple who lived in the 17th century. The name of the young man was Truong, and his young wife came from a village called Nam Xuong.

War broke out, and the young man was called up to serve in the army.

His wife was pregnant, but he had to leave for the front all the same. They cried a great deal.

The young man stayed in the army for three years before he was allowed to come home. On the day of his return, his wife was very happy to see him.

She went and stood at the entrance to the village with her little son and when they met, they cried for joy.

Then the young woman went to the market to get what she needed to make an offering to the family ancestor shrine.

Vietnamese have a tradition to make every important event known to their ancestors, and in every household, even the humblest ones, the shrine to the ancestors holds a place of honour.

The shrine is cleaned every day, the water in the flower vase is changed, and a stick of incense is offered.

While the young woman was at the market, the father tried to persuade his little boy to call him   ‘Daddy.’ but the child refused, saying, “No you are not my daddy. My Daddy is another man who comes every evening.”a young Vietnamese boy poses for the camera

“My mommy talks to him for a long time, and she cries with him. Every time my mommy sits down, he sits down also. And every time she lies down, he lies down too.”

All of Truong’s happiness evaporated on the spot. He became like a block of ice. When the wife came back from the market, she sensed that something had happened. Her husband did not look at her or talk to her, so she prepared the offering silently in the kitchen.

When she had finished, the husband placed the offering on the shrine, unrolled a mat, lit some incense and touched the soft earth in front of his ancestors in order to announce to them his return.

Then he rolled the mat back up without allowing his wife her turn to touch the earth. He thought she was unworthy to present herself at the shrine because she had cheated on him.

Instead of staying home with his family to celebrate their reunion, he went to a bar and spent the whole day there trying to drown his sorrows. For three days in a row, the young man did not come home until late at night. His suffering was too great.

He never said a word to his wife or looked at her, and her suffering was also very great. By the fourth day, the pain was too much for her, and she threw herself into the river and drowned.


a beautiful lotus flower sits on the waterThe young man on hearing the news went back to the house. That night he stayed with the child and when it got dark he lit the gas lamp.

Suddenly, the little boy began to shout, ” There’s my father, ” and he pointed to Truong’s shadow on the wall. ”

Every night my daddy comes, and mummy talks to him for hours and hours, and she cries a lot. Every time my mommy sits down, he sits down too.

The truth was suddenly all too clear. The man who had come every evening was actually the mother’s shadow. The truth was that the young woman had waited faithfully for her husband.

But one day the little boy came home and said “Mummy, every other boy and girl have a father. Where is my father?”

So she pointed to her shadow on the wall and said  “That’s your father. You can say, ‘Good morning, daddy’, and ‘Goodnight daddy ‘to him.” And she had talked to the shadow to convince the boy.

Now the truth was out, but it was too late.



2 boys play on the ice covered river

One winter not so long ago two young boys were playing on the ice, and as they continued to play, unknowingly they ventured dangerously near some thin ice, one of the boys fell through the ice.

So the little fellow that was left on top of the ice was trying to save his little buddy, but he couldn’t reach him, he was trying to pull him, he could see him under the ice struggling frantically, but he was unable to reach him, he started trying to break the ice but he couldn’t do it.

He looked around and saw a tree in the distance and he ran and frantically climbed up the tree, he pulled and broke down an enormous sized branch, he then ran back and savagely began to beat the ice and broke it.  Miraculously he saved his friend.a large tree covered in ice

When the paramedics arrived and were able to revive this little boy, they were scratching their heads trying to figure out this amazing act of strength.

How could this puny little fellow, climb up the tree and break off a branch of this size, then bring it back, beat and break the ice and save his friend.

They all thought it was miraculous but baffling. Just then an old man who had seen this all happen from a distance came up and said, I can tell you how he did it… How? said the paramedics ” How did he do it ?” and the old man replied



a present wrapped in gold paper

It was Christmas Eve, and a recently unemployed father was angrily chastising his young daughter for wasting the last of the wrapping paper.

Times were a little tough on the family and he became furious when he found that she had used the last of the paper to decorate a small box to put under the Christmas tree.

Christmas morning arrived and the proud little girl full of the joy of giving ambled over to the father excitedly and with outstretched arms, she said: “Merry Christmas Daddy this is for you”.

The father felt terrible and embarrassed for his previous harsh words. Her smile and excitement humbled him, he was grateful but ashamed.

He opened the box and looked inside, he once again became angry when he saw the box was empty. He yelled at the little girl  “what kind of gift is this, first, you wasted the paper and now you give me a gift with nothing in it”.


a little girl covers her face as she cries

The little girl bowed her head..and then she looked up at him broken and with tears in her eyes and said:

“Please daddy the box isn’t empty I filled the box full of kisses, all of them for you daddy”.

The father was crushed, he tearfully put his arms around his little girl and begged her for her forgiveness.

It is said that the father kept the box beside his bed and whenever he felt down or discouraged, he would open the box and take one of the kisses out to give him strength and courage, and remember the love of the child that had put it there.

In a very real sense, all of us have been given a box of gold, filled with unconditional love and kisses from not only our children but our family and friends.





a woman lies on the ground covering her eyes with her hands

There was a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind, she hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She said that if only she could see the world she would marry her boyfriend.

One day someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her,  “Now that you can see will you marry me.”

The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him.  Her boyfriend walked away in tears and later wrote a letter to her saying,

“Just take care of my eyes dear” a blind man cover with his hands the sockets where his eyes used to be

This is how the human brain can change when status is changed. Only some remember what life was like before, and who was there, even in our most painful situations.

Before you think about saying an unkind word, think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food, think of someone who has nothing to eat.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down, put a smile on your face and give thanks, you’re alive and still around.



a woman carries her luggage eager to catch her flight

A woman was waiting at the airport one night, with several long hours before her flight.

She hunted for a book in the airport shops, and bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man beside her as bold as could be, grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between.

Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene. So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.

She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking if I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye.

With each cookie she took, he took one too, and when one was left, she wondered what he’d do.

With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half as he ate the other, and she snatched it from him and thought, oh brother.

This guys got some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude.a monkey feeds on a cookie

She had never known when she had been so galled, and she sighed with relief when her flight was called.

She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane and sank into her seat, then she saw her book that was almost complete.

As she reached into her baggage she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned with despair, then the others were his and he tried to share.

Too late to apologise she realised with grief, that she was the rude one. The Ingrate, the Thief.

The Tale of Two Wolves

2 cherokee indians ride their horses in full indian attire


A Wise Old Cherokee Indian Was Teaching His Grandson About Life.

A Fight Is Going On Inside Me!  He Said To The Boy.

It Is A Terrible Fight And It Is Between TWO WOLVES.

One Is Evil...a man sits while two wolves fight in the background

He Is…

Anger- Envy- Sorrow- Regret- Greed – Arrogance – Self Pity- Guilt- Resentment-Inferiority- Lies- False Pride- Superiority and Ego

He continued…

The Other Wolf Is Good!

He Is-


The same fight is going on inside every other person too.

The grandson thought about it for a while and then asked his Grandfather,

Who will win?”

The Old Cherokee Replied


through the fog two wolves sit one howling at the moon in victory


Got a short story of meaning to share, I’d love to publish it here for you. Leave it in the comments below.

Thanks, As Alwayspaul-getting-thing-sorted





  1. Wow, what a very wise and profound post. Us “Westerners” do have a lot to look at in the East! We are all guilty of foot in mouth.
    Great article, Keep it going!

    1. Hi Francis
      Thanks for your comment and, yes I agree wholeheartedly. During my years of travel in Asia, it never ceases to amaze me as I see smile after smile, from those with little material possessions. We have much to learn from them. I feel there are many reasons and they are fairly simplistic.The importance of the family is certainly a standout. As ‘westerners ‘ we tend to look down on not only Asians but any country where English is not the first language, which is quite naive.I hope the few short stories left you with something to think about
      Keep smiling mate

  2. Hello Sknowy, these stories are wonderful!!! I really loved them, thanks. I specially love the short story, When Ignorance Is Bliss, which I thought was a very powerful story. Some people don’t realize there full potential until they notice that they don’t have no to little options, and don’t let nobody doubt them or doubt themselves. Maybe someday, I will have a short story to share with you. Thank a lot for the stories, continue to do what you do.

    1. Hi Ahmad,

      So glad you enjoyed these simple but profoundly thought provoking short stories. ‘Ignorance Is Bliss” is a special short story that every young boy and girl should be told before the influences of life, whether that be family, teaches and/or peers influence us about what’s possible and what’s impossible. It really is tragic how far we are held back by the opinions of others. It’s hard to dare to be different. As a parent we need to encourage our children to be free and grow wings, to chase whatever dream they have and support them in each and every endeavor.

      i would love you to contribute at some stage with your own story Ahmad, it would truly be my pleasure to share it with our readers.

      Cheers to you mate

      Regards Paul

  3. You touched my heart with your stories. The one that really cut through me is the first story—about the beggar, as I can relate to it. I am currently suffering from money problems and sometimes I blame others for this misery. Your story has enlightened me and has encouraged me to look deep within myself for answers. I will stop blaming others for the problems I have and start taking full responsibility for my life. Thank you for the empowering and encouraging thoughts.

    1. Hello again Homer,

      Great to hear from you again. These short stories are very simple but powerful. I’m glad you enjoyed them and the story about the beggar touched me too upon my first reading. Taking responsibility for one’s life is a big step and I know better times are just around the corner

      Warm regards


  4. Really inspiring and a lot can actually be gotten from this post. A lot of us live our lives not knowing what we are capable of. The story that comes to mind with this point is the story on ignorance is bliss which involves those two boys. We all have the ability to do things we are not capable of and If we are to look within we would and actually act we would realize that we are capable of doing things we had no idea we could actually do.

    1. Hi Jay, 

      Welcome back it’s been a while. Ignorance is bliss is a great little tale that as you mentioned offers a basic truth, that we are all capable of great things if let go of others limitations. We all have greatness within just waiting to be tapped into.

      Lets always encourage ourselves and others and break any and all of those limitations.

      Great to hear from you as always Jay


  5. I really enjoyed these stories. The one I liked the most was the Cookie Story.

    I believe the core idea of it is that we often times fail to recognize and appreciate the people who are giving to us and helping us. People just fail to see it completely. And thus, they cuss and belittle the other human being, when in truth that other human being only wanted to give, to share, to make the life better for the other one. It is indeed people often times tend to be ego-centric too much. And they appreciate only when it’s gone or it’s not there anymore. Only when they realize that the thing that they had was worth nurturing.

    Again, thank you! It was such a great read!

    Cheers, and have a Great One!

    Carpe minutam,


    1. Hello Matiss,

      Great to hear your thoughts. You had me fascinated with Carpe Minutam (seize the night) so very cool along with Carpe Diem (seize the day) Love it!. I think your explanation of the cookie thief is a very good one. It never ceases to surprise me how far we can be out with our perceptions and also the conclusions we make, it can be very embarrassing as it must have been for the cookie monster hehe

      Thanks again Matiss


  6. You’re such an amazing person, with a lot of knowledge. I enjoyed every story, but I was particularly moved by the Vietnamese soldier. Most of us are like that, jumping into conclusions without giving the other person a chance to explain. I’d sure bookmark this page, would need some stories to motivate my team.


    1. Hi Louis

      Great to hear from you once more. I too was very moved by this story and the heartbreak caused by our ill perceptions and jumping to conclusions without communicating and knowing the full story. It’s time for us all to take a step back and not be so judgemental so that we can lead a much more peaceful life



  7. I really liked these stories. And they really made me think.

    For me, the most profound one was the tale of two wolves. This is so true in life. Every one of us has a choice. We can feed either the good wolf or the bad wolf. And it’s easier to feed the bad wolf replying with anger, having no patience, downplaying others, embodying jealousy and envy. It’s much, much harder in life to the embrace the good wolf, to be kind to your family, friends, employes, strangers, to give and never ask in return, to sacrifice for the sake of others. Yet it’s the most rewarding one to feed.

    I feel the most important thing to remember about this is about that choice. You can always, and I mean always choose. Thinking you can’t and that it’s all reflexes, is just being completely blind and unappreciative for what truly has been give to you.

    A really, really profound story. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a Wonderful Day!


    1. Hi Rasa,

      Thanks so much for your comment and thoughts on my post. I really loved the tale of the 2 wolves and it was such a profound piece of wisdom and truth that I needed to find somewhere to place it on my site. A simple story to make you think and as you said we all have choices with none more upfront than this.

      Our lives are always about the choices we make at any given moment, that place between stimulus and response is where our growth begins!

      Lets choose wisely, all of us for a more peaceful and loving life



  8. Dear Paul,

    Thanks a lot for sharing these great stories.

    The first story “FOOD FOR THOUGHT” is an eye-opener. The second story “PERCEPTIONS” moved me and I felt like crying and it insisted on the trust and belief we need to have on our loved ones.

    While reading the third story “WHEN IGNORANCE IS BLISS” I got goosebumps when I read the answer by the old man “There was no-one here to tell him he couldn’t do it” it made me to think a lot and it does have great meaning into it.

    Fourth story was awesome and I think you decided to make me cry Paul lol I am controlling my tears when I read the answer of the little girl. Indeed its a precious, amazing and great gift.

    Great advice on the fifth story we need to be grateful for everything we have and we need to remember those who helped in our struggles.

    I can’t stop laughing at the THE COOKIE THIEF story. 

    The one who will win is the one who we feed Awesome!

    Information is wealth! Thanks a lot for these great thought provoking stories and I got great inspiration!

    Much Success!


    1. Hey there Paul, 

      I always really enjoy your comments, and the fact you had an opinion on each of the stories really makes me happy. The stories are all very thought-provoking and they all come down to the perceptions we have and our inability to see what’s true at times. The stories touched me all in a similar way and I feel a bond due to the fact we shared the same emotions for each of the stories.

      Blessings to you Paul my good friend


  9. Hi and thanks for your heartfelt article,

    It is so nice to read of hope and goodwill in today’s world. Australia, where I am from is currently ravaged by fierce and uncontrollable fires and in this time where people are suffering and at great loss it is important to remember some of the lessons that you have outlined here. 

    We must look within ourselves for the answers rather than blame the outside world and when we cannot solve the problems we face, we must look to better ourselves and our situation by any means possible.

    1. Hi Marketa,

      Great to hear from a fellow Aussie and while I don’t live in Australia right now what I have seen and heard is quite devastating. The fires have created many heroes and the nation has come together as on. 

      These stories are as you said a great distraction at this time and it is a time for personal insight as it always is. Thanks for sharing and we stand together.Thank you


  10. Hi Paul, thanks very much for sharing these short stories. I became teary after reading most of them, especially the Vietnam story and Christmas one. Thank you very much for feeding some life lessons to my soul today. I really like ‘perception’ based life stories, because perception can determine whether you live your life truly good and happy or not. 

    1. Hi There and so glad you enjoyed the stories. They all have a different effect on different people and to be touched means a lot to me. Our perceptions truly are out of whack sometimes and we need to have more clarity in our life. Thanks for your thoughts.


  11. Very nice stories that inspire me to further life. I like the story of a beggar who sat on a wooden box for a long time and didn’t know there was gold in it, still begging for it. , She later realized on the plane that she ate his food, which he shared with her. Wise lessons can be learned from all these stories.

    1. Hey Kozakiz, 

      Glad you were able to enjoy the stories, each one different but all about our perceptions. Great little reminders, all of them

      Thank you 


  12. Wow. This is just amazing. The stories you gave were awesome. So many great lessons to learn from all of them especially the one from the beginning about the beggar and the stranger. It’s my favorite

    Many of us have not really found our true wealth which result to being a “beggar”. There is something very big inside of us that this “stranger” is telling us to a look into our innermost being. When we do this, we bring about the most radiant joy of our being and the deep unshakable peace that comes with it.

    This is a very nice article and so many things to learn.

    1. Great to hear from you Kell and even better to know how much you enjoyed them all. Everyone has a different favourite as each one has a more meaningful experience with one or all. The beggar story is enlightening and probably my favourite too.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts


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