Saturday, 20 November 2010

Wisdom of the world - Week 128

The Monastery

There was a monastery which had seen better days. There were only a few elderly monks left and the place just about ticked over. The head of the monastery went to talk to a wise hermit who lived in a nearby forest for some advice. The hermit told him that he couldn’t advise him but asked him was he aware that one of the monks was Jesus, come to live amongst them. When the father returned the brothers were waiting to hear if he had any luck. The father shook his head sadly but told them about the strange thing the hermit had said. The brothers thought that was a bit strange but over the coming weeks and months the idea stuck in their minds as the pondered who it might be. They found themselves treating each other and themselves with more and more respect. Within a year visitors noticed the wonderful atmosphere of love and harmony that suffused the monastery. More and more people were drawn to visit and younger men asked to join the brothers.

Wisdom of the world - Week 127

The rabbi

One day a rabbi, in a frenzy of religious passion, rushed in before the ark, fell to his knees, and started beating his breast, crying “I’m nobody! I’m nobody!”
The cantor of the synagogue, impressed by his example of spiritual humility, joined the rabbi on his knees “I’m nobody! I’m nobody!”
The “shamus” (custodian), watching from the corner, couldn’t restrain himself either. He joined the other two on his knees calling out, “I’m nobody! I’m nobody!”
At which point the rabbi, nudging the cantor with his elbow, pointed to the custodian and said, “Look who thinks he’s nobody!”

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Change Yourself

There was once an old man who was looking back on his life. He sat in a tea shop with his friends, telling them his story. ‘When I was a young man, I was arrogant and thought I knew it all. I felt I could do anything, and wanted to change everyone. I would pray to God to give me the strength to change the world. When I reached middle age, I awoke one morning and realised that my life was half over. I had done nothing, and I hadn’t changed anyone. So, I prayed to God to give me the strength to change those who were close to me since they needed it so much. But now I am old and my prayer is very simple: ‘God, please give me the strength to change at least myself.’ ”
Don’t try to change the world or other people before you are able to change yourself. If you try to change others without changing your own attitudes, it will not have any effect. Change yourself; the world around you will change.

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