Story

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What do you get from a Bowl of Plain Rice?

Published February 10, 2013 by gigiwellness28

About 20 years ago, on a late Spring evening, a young man was pacing up and down outside a little self serve café, he finally walked in the café timidly as the café was also empty.

He went to the counter and said, “Excuse me, I would like to order a bowl of rice please?”

The young couple, who started this café not long ago, was a bit disappointed when they realised he was not going to order other dishes,  but still filled up a bowl of rice for him.

When the young man paid for the bowl of rice, he asked, “Excuse me, can I use those sauces on the side counter?”

The female owner replied with a friendly smile, “Sure, go help yourself, they are free of charge!”

A bowl of rice with sauce

The young man sat down to eat his rice with sauces.  When he was half way, he went to order another bowl of rice.

The male owner said, “One bowl is definitely not enough, I’ll fill it up a bit more this time.”

“Oh no,” the young man replied, “it’s for my lunch, I’ll take it to college tomorrow.”

The male owner thought the young man must be struggling financially, so he could only afford a bowl of plain rice for his meal.  Out of sympathy, he decided to add a spoonful of their special mince meat plus a tea leaf egg at the bottom of the bowl, then filled up the bowl with rice – you would have been fooled by the take away bowl and thought it’s just rice.

His wife saw what he did and understood he wanted to help the young man, but she didn’t understand why he hid the meat and egg under the rice; until the husband explained, “If he saw we’ve added the other food to the rice, he might think we are pitying him, that would hurt his self-esteem.  He might feel ashamed and wouldn’t come back again.  If he went to another store and just ate rice, how would he have enough energy to study?”

“You are such a good man, honey, always considering others’ feelings.”

“Well, if I was not good, would you still marry me?”

The young couple felt so happy to be able to help.

When the young man finished his bowl of rice and came over to pick up the heavy weighted take away rice, he couldn’t help but look at the owners with question marks all over his face.

“Work hard in your study!  We’ll see you tomorrow!”  the owner waved good bye to the young man, hoping he will return to their café tomorrow.  The young man started to tear up, but he didn’t want the young couple to notice.

From that evening onwards, apart from long holiday, the young man would come to this little café to order 2 bowls of rice, 1 for dinner and 1 for lunch.  The owners had decided to hide different types of meat under his take away bowl of rice.  This had became a little unspoken secret between the 3 of them.

The couple had also decided to keep the same price for the young man’s bowl of rice.  The 3 of them would chat about his study and life, a special bond had formed, until the young man graduated a few years later.

About 20 years later, the couple, who were now in their late 40’s still ran the same little self serve café, received the Council Notification of demolition of illegal constructions in the area.  With inflation over the years and their limited saving, as they supported their son to study abroad, they wouldn’t be able to run their little café in the same area, to serve their regular customers; but had to start everything all over again, when they were almost 50.  Facing the possibilities of unemployment in their age and all the uncertainties ahead of them, they didn’t know what to do.

While they were trying to pick themselves up, a suited man came into the café.  He didn’t place an order, he just said to them, “Hello, I am the Assistant General Manager of xxx Co. Ltd., our CEO told me to invite you to run a self serve café in our newly built office building.  All the facilities and food will be provided by our company, you just need to bring your cooking skills.  Your café and our company will share the profit 50/50.”

“Who is your CEO?  Why does he treat us with such good favour?  We haven’t known any important people like that in our lives!”

“All I know is both of you had treated our CEO very well and he loves eating your café’s mince and tea leaf egg with a big bowl of rice. You’ll need to ask him for other details when he comes.”

The couple looked at each other with a puzzled look on their faces.  Later on, a man in a suit came in the café, he greeted the couple and thanked them.  He told them he was the young man, who only ordered 2 bowls of rice every evening, 1 for dinner and 1 for lunch.  He also said if it was not their continuous encouragements and the unspoken secret, he wouldn’t have been able to complete his study and definitely wouldn’t be able to achieve what he has achieved and became a big company’s CEO.  The couple was so pleased and amazed with what he had offered them.

They kept catching up until it was time to head home.  The CEO stood up, said his goodbye and right before he stepped out from the café, he turned around, gave the couple a deep bow and said, “Work hard in running the café, our company relies on your help.  We’ll see you tomorrow!”

* * * * * *

Richness of Heart

Published February 2, 2013 by gigiwellness28

The Little Kid’s Heart

A lady has just moved home and found there was a poor family of a widow with her two little kids living right next door.

Few nights later, the area had black out, so she lighted up some candles.  The Little Kid's Heart

A short while later, there was a knock on her front door.

It was one of that poor family’s kids, who looked very nervous and asked, “Excuse me, do you have candles in your home?”

The lady thought, “Are you for real?  They don’t even have candles?  No way I am lending you candles, who knows what else will you ask me next time!”

With that thought in her mind, she replied very rudely, “NO!”

Just as she was going to close the door, the kid showed a caring smile and handed her two candles, “I thought since you’ve just moved in, you might not have candles ready, so I’ve asked my Mama’s permission and bring you these two candles for the night.”

The lady felt so shameful of herself, she moved to tears and hold the child tightly in her arms.

 

The Pure Heart

It has not rained for a very long time, the farmers in a little town have struggled in harvesting, so the Pastor has organised a Prayer Meeting for Rain Fall.

Everyone in the town attended the Prayer Meeting, among them was a little girl, but because she’s tiny, no one had paid much notice to her.The Pure Heart

The Pastor went up to the pulpit to start the Prayer Meeting, but something caught his attention, which moved him to change what he was planning to say.

He said, “Today we come together to ask God for rain fall; but look around, this little girl is the only person who has brought an umbrella!”

Sometimes we have to say, “Little kids are in fact not that ‘little‘, in fact they are really ‘big‘!  They have a very big heart to love and they have a very big mind to trust!”

 

<< We may not earn a lot of money to be financially rich; but we can always show the richness of our heart! >>

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The Seasons of A Pear Tree

Published August 22, 2012 by gigiwellness28

There was a man who had four sons.  He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly, so he sent them each on a quest – in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in Winter, the second in Spring, the third in Summer and the youngest son in Fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said, “The tree was ugly, bent and twisted.”

The second son said, “No, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.”

The third son disagreed, “It was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful.  It was the most graceful thing I had ever seen.”

The last son disagreed with all of them, “It was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfilment.”

The man then explained to his sons that they were all correct, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.

He told them, “You cannot judge a tree or a person by only one season.  The essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end.  When all the seasons are up.

“If you give up when it’s Winter, you will miss the promise of your Spring, the beauty of your Summer and fulfilment of your Fall.

“Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.  Don’t judge life by one difficult season.  Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come later.”

* * * * * *

Aspire to inspire before we expire.
Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

Happiness keeps us sweet.
Trials keep us strong.
Sorrows keep us human.
Failures keep us humble.
Success keeps us glow.
But only God keeps us going.

* * * * *

Who will Take My Son?

Published August 21, 2012 by gigiwellness28

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art.  They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael.  They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war.  He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.  The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door.  A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life.  He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.  He often talked about you, and your love for art.”

The young man held out his package, “I know this isn’t much.  I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”

The father opened the package.  It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man.  He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting.  The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.

He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.  “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me.  It’s a gift.”

The father hung the portrait over his mantle.  Every time visitors came to his home, he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later.  There was to be a great auction of his collections.  Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.  On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel.  “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son.  Who will bid for this picture?”

There was silence.  Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings.  Skip this one.”

But the auctioneer persisted, “Will someone bid for this painting?  Who will start the bidding?  $100?  $200?”

Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to see this painting.  We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts.  Get on with the real bids!”  But still the auctioneer continued, “The son!  The son!  Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room.  It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son.  “I’ll give $10 for the painting.”  Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

“We have $10, who will bid $20?”

“Give it to him for $10.  Let’s see the masters.”

“$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?”

The crowd was becoming angry, they didn’t want the picture of the son.  They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.  The auctioneer pounded the gavel.  “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!”

A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!”  The auctioneer laid down his gavel, “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”

“What about the paintings?”

“I am sorry.  When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will.  I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time.  Only the painting of the son would be auctioned.  Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.  The one who took the son gets everything!”

God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross.  Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?”  Because whoever takes the Son gets everything.

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The Rest is Just Sand

Published August 21, 2012 by gigiwellness28

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him.  When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks that are about 2″ in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full, they agreed that it was.  So the professor picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the already “full” jar.  He shook the jar lightly, the pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.  The students laughed.  The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the already twice-over “full” jar.  Of course, the sand filled up the rest of the space.

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this is your life.  The rocks are the important things — your education, your loves, your personal goals, your God, your health, your family — anything that is so important to you that you would probably be nearly destroyed if it were lost.  The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, your possessions.  Then, the sand is everything else – the small stuff and daily clutter of life.

If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  Likewise with the pebbles.  The same goes for your life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are really important to you.

* + * + * + * + * + *

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness…  Put your ideas in place and form a plan for achieving them.

Play with your children.  Take time to get medical check-ups.  Go out dancing.  Make time to laugh, and love.  Sit down often for long family meals.  Enjoy the holidays.

Try always, to keep your life in focus.  You will find that there will still be time to go to work, clean the house, wax the car, watch a show, pay the bills, or fix the air conditioner.  Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities, because…

The rest is just sand!

* * * * *

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Published August 11, 2012 by gigiwellness28

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – a story book my late Grandpa loved dearly.

Different people have different interpretations about this story; to my Grandpa, this story reminded him of how God sacrificed His only son for us.

According to Wikipedia, Timothy P. Jackson, a former professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University put it:

Is this a sad tale?  Well, it is sad in the same way that life is depressing.  We are all needy, and, if we are lucky and any good, we grow old using others and getting used up.  Tears fall in our lives like leaves from a tree.  Our finitude is not something to be regretted or despised, however; it is what makes giving (and receiving) possible.  The more you blame the boy, the more you have to fault human existence.  The more you blame the tree, the more you have to fault the very idea of parenting.  Should the tree’s giving be contingent on the boy’s gratitude?  If it were, if fathers and mothers waited on reciprocity before caring for their young, then we would all be doomed.

I found the actual ’73 Giving Tree Movie spoken by Shel Silverstein in YouTube, so for those who don’t want to read the story but want to watch the Movie, please click below, otherwise, please read on or do both:

The Giving Tree

Once, there was a tree…
And she loved a little boy.
And every day the boy would come
And he would gather her leaves
And make them into crowns and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
And swing from her branches
And eat apples
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree… very much…
And the tree was happy.

But time went by,
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then, one day, the boy came to the tree and the tree said,
“Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy!”
“I am too big to climb and play,” said the boy. “I want to buy thing and have fun.  I want some money.  Can you give me some money?”
“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I have no money.  I have only leaves and apples.  Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in city.  Then you will have money and you’ll be happy.”
And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away.
And the tree was happy…

But the boy stayed away for a long time… and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back, and the tree shook with joy, and she said,
“Come, Boy come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy.”
“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy.  “I want a house to keep me warm”, he said.  “I and want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?”
“I have no house”, said the tree.  “The forest is my house”, said the tree.  “But you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy.”
And so the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house.  And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time…
And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak.
“Come, Boy” she whispered, “Come and play.”
“I am too old and sad to play,” said the boy.  “I want a boat that will take me away from here.  Can you give me a boat?”
“Cut down my trunk and make a boat,” said the tree.  “Then you can sail away… and be happy.”
And so the boy cut down her trunk
And made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy…
But not really.

And after a long time the boy came back again.
“I am sorry, Boy,” said the tree, “but I have nothing left to give you – My apples are gone.”
“My teeth are too weak for apples,” said the boy.
“My branches are gone,” said the tree.  “You cannot swing on them.”
“I am too old to swing on branches,” said the boy.
“My trunk is gone,” said the tree.  “You cannot climb.”
“I am too tired to climb,” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.  “I wish that I could give you something… but I have nothing left.  I am just an old stump.  I am sorry…”
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.  “Just a quiet place to sit and rest.  I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, “well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting.  Come, Boy, sit down… sit down and rest.”
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy…

The end.

Attitude towards Life

Published July 18, 2012 by gigiwellness28

Across the street from the college campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church.  They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

On one Sunday, Bill, a brilliant, profound and very, very bright college student, decides to go to the church.

He walks in with his usual wardrobe (literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college) – T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes – and his wild hair.

The service has already started when Bill arrives, so he starts down the aisle looking for a seat.  The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat.

Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realises there are no seats, he just sits down on the carpet.

The people look a bit uncomfortable, they are really uptight, the tension in the air is thick, but no one says anything.

About this time, the minister realises that from the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill.

The deacon is in his 80s, has foxy-silver hair and wears a three-piece suit.  A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly.

He walks with a cane.  As he walks toward Bill, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.  How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the deacon to reach Bill.

The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the elderly man’s cane.  All eyes are focused on him.

The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.

The elderly man drops his cane on the floor.  With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with Bill, so Bill won’t be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion.

When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you may not remember.  But what you have just witnessed, you will never forget.  Be careful how we live, we may be the only Bible some people will ever read!

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