The Priceless Ingredient

In the city of Baghdad lived Haakem, the wise one. People went to him for counsel, which he gave freely to all, asking nothing in return.

There came to him a young man who had spent much but got little and said to Haakem, “Tell me, wise one, what shall I do to recover the most for that which I spend?”

Haakem answered, “A thing that is bought or sold has no value unless it contains that which cannot be bought or sold. Look for the Priceless Ingredient.”

“But what is the Priceless Ingredient?” asked the young man…

The Hermit

Word spread across the countryside about the wise Holy Man who lived in a small house atop the mountain as a hermit. One day a man from the village decided to make the long and difficult journey to visit the Holy Man. He arrived at the house, knocked and an old servant greeted him at the door.

“I would like to see the wise Holy Man,” he said to the servant. The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the house, the man from the village looked eagerly at his surroundings, anticipating his encounter with the Holy Man. Before he knew it, he had been led to the back door and escorted outside…

The Peacock’s Tail

There was a time when the peacock could fly higher than any other bird, over the trees and nearly up to the sunlit clouds. One day after soaring above the earth, the peacock landed near a quiet pool and glimpsed his reflection in the water. Horrified, he saw that his feathers were dull brown, without a single scarlet plume or gold crest among them. “This is terrible!” he cried. “I would pay any price if only I could be beautiful.” And he fell asleep that night still lamenting his plainness…

Fill Yourself with Truth

As an emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, “What do you want?”

The beggar laughed and said, “You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire!”

The king was offended. He said, “Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me.”

And the beggar said, “Think twice before you promise anything. It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?”

The emperor said, “Of course!”

He called one of his viziers and told him, “Fill this man’s begging bowl with money.” The vizier went and got some money and poured it into the bowl, and it disappeared. As he poured more and more into the bowl, the moment the money hit the bowl disappeared. The begging bowl always remained empty.

Diamonds, pearls and emeralds were poured into the bowl, as the emperor’s treasuries were becoming empty.

Finally, it was the evening, and the emperor dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. He said, “Just tell me one thing: of what is the begging bowl made?”…

Seven Wonders

A group of geography students studied the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of that section, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World.

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn’t turned in her paper yet. She asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list…

Go With the Flow

While walking along a riverbank at some rapids, an old man slipped on a wet rock near the edge and fell in. Onlookers watched in horror as he was swept toward and then over a high waterfall. However, there was great joy when he emerged bruised but otherwise unharmed downstream. “How did you manage to survive?” asked one man…

Rest

Story of the Week is taking a break to respect the measure
and will return in the Spring Term.

Thank you for your attention.

Effort and Patience

There is a story about a young man in Japan who wanted to be the greatest martial artist of the land. He thought that to reach this goal, he must study with the best instructor, who lived many miles away.

One day he left home to go study with this great teacher. After traveling for several days, he arrived at the school and was given an audience with the teacher. “What do you wish to learn from me?” the master asked.

“I want you to teach me your art and help me become one of the best martial artist’s in the country,” the young man replied. “How long must I study?”

“Ten years at least,” the master answered.

The young man thought, ten years is a lot of time. I want to get his done sooner than that. I don’t have that much time. Certainly if I try harder I can complete this task quicker. So he asked the master, “What if I studied twice as hard as everyone else? How long would it take then?”

“Then it would take twenty years,” replied the master…

Great Waves

In the early days of the Meiji era there lived a well-known wrestler called O-nami, Great Waves.

O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wresting. In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public was so bashful that his own pupils threw him.

O-nami felt he should get help. Hakuju, a wandering teacher, was stopping in a little temple nearby, so O-nami went to see him and told him of his trouble…

Uninvited Guest

A few years after I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. The stranger, he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries, and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future. He made me laugh, and he made me cry.

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home. Our longtime visitor however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My da