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    Germany Avalon Member Michi's Avatar
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    Default Friday Story

    Well here comes something quite different.

    Let me explain: For quite some time I receive each Friday an email, titled "Friday Story".
    Those are quite inspiring short stories and I would like to share with you those which touched me the most.

    Perhaps you too, do have a "Friday Story" which touched you and never forget.
    This would be the place to share. (And it can be on any weekday.)

    So, without further ado ...
    The Trouble Tree

    A woman hired a carpenter for repairs on her farmhouse. One day a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and then his ancient truck refused to start. The woman drove him home.

    He invited her in to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

    Inside, he smiled and hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

    As he walked the client out to her car, she asked him about the tree.

    “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I can’t help having troubles on the job, but troubles don’t belong at home. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”

    “Funny thing.” He smiled. “When I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
    -- Benjamin Disraeli

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    Germany Avalon Member Michi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friday Story

    It's Friday again. And drum roll ...


    The Park Bench
    (Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree)

    Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
    For the world was intent on dragging me down.

    And if that weren’t enough to ruin my day,
    A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.

    He stood right before me with his head tilted down,
    And said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”

    In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
    With its petals all worn, not enough rain, or too little light.

    Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
    I faked a smile and then shifted away.

    But instead of retreating he sat next to my side,
    And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise’

    “It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful too,
    That’s why I picked it; here, it’s for you.”

    The weed before me was dying or dead,
    Not vibrant of colors; orange, yellow, or red.

    But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave,
    So I reached for the flower and replied, “Just what I need.”

    But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
    He held it mid-air without reason or plan.

    It was then that I noticed for the first time,
    That weed-toting boy could not see, he was blind.

    I heard my voice quiver, tears shone in the sun,
    As I thanked him for picking the very best one.

    “You’re welcome,” he smiled and then ran off to play,
    Unaware of the impact he’d had on my day.

    I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
    A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.

    How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
    Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight.

    Through the eyes of a blind child, as last I could see
    The problem was not with the world, but with me.

    And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
    I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that’s mine.

    And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose,
    And I breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose.

    And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in hand,
    About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
    -- Benjamin Disraeli

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  5. Link to Post #3
    Germany Avalon Member Michi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friday Story

    A bit late, but here is your next Friday Story:
    --------------------------------------------------
    Dealing With Hurtful Words

    When one of my daughters was confronted with the fact that she had really hurt another child with a mean comment, she cried and immediately wanted to apologize. That was a good thing, but I wanted her to know an apology can’t always make things better. So I told her the story of Will, an angry nine-year-old whose father abandoned his mom two years earlier.

    Will would often lash out at others with mean and hurtful words. After a particularly hostile outburst where Will told his mom, “I see why Dad left you!,” his mother, desperate and damaged, sent Will to spend the summer with his grandparents who lived on a small farm.

    The first evening on the farm, Will made nasty comments to his grandmother about her cooking and the size of the house. His grandfather took him to a tool shed and told him he could not come back into the house until he pounded a two-inch nail into a 4 x 4 board. He said the nail had to be pounded all the way in and that he would have to do so every time he said a mean and hurtful thing. For a small boy, this was a major task. After about ten trips to the shed, Will began to be more cautious about his words. Eventually, he apologized to his grandmother for all the bad things he’d said.

    His grandmother didn’t respond directly but asked him to bring in the board filled with nails. Then she gave him the hammer and asked him to pull out all the nails. This was even harder than pounding them in, but after a huge struggle, he did it.

    His grandmother hugged him and said, “I appreciate your apology and, of course, I forgive you because I love you, but I want you to know an apology is like pulling out one of those nails. Look at the board. The holes are still there. The board will never be the same. I know your dad put a hole in you when he left and that’s unfair, but it doesn’t give you the right to put holes in other people – especially those who love you. Will, you are better than that.”

    A fourth-grade teacher once told me how she tells this story to her class at the beginning of the semester and uses it throughout the year. When she comes upon a child saying or doing a mean or unkind thing, she will say, “Did you put a nail in someone?” Then she’ll ask, “Did you take it out?”

    She says her students always know what she’s talking about and they come to recognize what its wrong to hurt others with their words. She urges her students not to use the automatic, “That’s all right” after an apology because usually what was done was not all right and the person saying it, rightfully, doesn’t feel it was all right. She tells her class to say, “I accept your apology” or “I forgive you” instead.

    The teacher also uses the story to help her kids understand difficult family matters outside of the classroom. She tells them some people will never take out the nails they’ve pounded into the children, but everyone has the power to pull them out themselves and get on with their life rather than let others rule them.

    She told me, “The story is simple, but the message is powerful — especially when reinforced with: “You’re better than that!”

    Michael Josephson
    Last edited by Michi; 13th December 2020 at 18:23.
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
    -- Benjamin Disraeli

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