Story No. 122 – Making a difference

My friend was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to

see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning

down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling

things out into the ocean. As my friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was

picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them

back into the water. My friend was puzzled.

He approached the man and said. “Good evening, friend. I was wondering what

you are doing.”

“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see its low tide right now

and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw

them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.”

“I understand,” my friend replied, “but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t

possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably

happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can’t you see that you can’t possibly

make a difference?”

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into

the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”

Story No. 121 – A sense of a goose

Next autumn, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying in a “V” formation, you

might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings,

it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock

adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get

where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are traveling

on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and

resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to

take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have the

sense of a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are heading the same way we are.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What message do we give when we honk from behind?

Finally – and this is important – when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of

the formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and

protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do

they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their own group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

Story No. 120 – The father and his sons

A father had a family of sons who were perpetually quarreling among

themselves. When he failed to heal their disputes by his exhortations, he

determined to give them a practical illustration of the evils of disunion; and for

this purpose he one day told them to bring him a bundle of sticks.

When they had done so, he placed the faggot into

the hands of each of them in succession, and

ordered them to break it in pieces. They tried with

all their strength, and were not able to do it. He

next opened the faggot, took the sticks separately, one by one, and

again put them into his sons’ hands, upon which they broke them


He then addressed them in these words: “My sons, if you are of one mind, and unite to assist each

other, you will be as this faggot, uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; but if you are

divided among yourselves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks.”

In Union there is strength. Divided we fall; United we stand.

Story No. 119 – Be patient

A man came out of his home to admire his new truck.

To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily hammering

dents into the shiny paint of the truck.

The man ran to his son, knocked him away, and hammered the little

boy’s hands into pulp as punishment.

When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital. Although the doctor tried

desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate fingers from boy’s both hands.

When the boy woke up from the surgery and saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, “Daddy,

I’m sorry about your truck.” Then he asked, “But when are my fingers going to grow back?”

The father went home and committed suicide.

“One who cannot benefit by patience will die

of grief and excitement.” Imam Ali (AS)

Think about this story the next time someone

steps on your feet or you wish to take revenge.

Think first before you lose your patience with someone u love. Trucks can be repaired. Broken

bones and hurt feelings often can’t.

Too often we fail to recognize the difference between the person and the performance. We forget

that forgiveness is greater than revenge.

People make mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes. But the actions we take while in a rage

will haunt us forever. Pause and ponder. Think before you act. Be patient. Forgive and forget.

Love one and all.

Story No. 118 – You are beautiful

It’s a phrase that my mother uses a lot. I used to wonder, “How in the world

can Mother call them beautiful?” I am a logical, statistical man. I call things

as I see them. I didn’t see beauty.

My mother would tell people this with an enthusiasm they could feel. She

was genuine. She wasn’t telling them they were beautiful to get something

from them. Most of the time, they were trying to get something from her.

I wondered for years what was wrong with Mother’s perception and vision.

Couldn’t she see that all of the people she called beautiful weren’t beautiful?

You were beautiful only if you had a certain figure and face that was classed as beautiful by the laws

of the world and glamour. Yet when my mother spoke, people smiled as though Glamour magazine

had listed them as one of the beautiful people of the year.

It took me years to finally understand my mother’s vision and the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of

the beholder.” My mother had a spirit that could see the beauty in a person. Most only look on the

outside and then compare what they see with the standards the world has given them. That was

what I was doing. Today when you leave your house, carefully look at the first person whom you

see and notice how beautiful they are.

They may be balding, fat, wrinkled, pimply, or any of the other things the world frowns upon as

beauty. Look at them closely and look for the beauty. If you really look, you’ll see it.

I didn’t believe that at first until I tried it. Sure enough, as I stared and opened another set of eyes,

I was able to see the beauty in every person. No matter how rough or worn a person looked, each

pain etched line held a glimpse of beauty.

You just had to look for the beauty. It’s there. When you leave your home this morning, look hard

at each person. You will start to see the beauty of every human who you didn’t know existed. Trust

me and try this. If you sincerely look, you will see it. When you get home after seeing the beauty in

faces you see, look in the mirror. You are beautiful. Thank you mama for all of the beauty that you

have not only seen, but added. She used to tell me: “Be like a honey bee which always sits on

beautiful flowers.”

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Indeed Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty.” In other place

he (SAW) says: “A believer is beautiful because Allah has given him beautiful characters.”

Holy Quran emphasizes on remembering the beautiful things Allah (SWT) has created and praise

them profusely. “And as for the blessing of your Lord, do announce it.” (93:11)

Allah (SWT) Himself remembers and praises the good creations He has created; among them is His

beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW): “And He exalted your praise (O Muhammad).” (94:4)

“Indeed Allah and His Angels are sending blessings upon the Prophet. O you who believe, send

blessings upon him (you as well) and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.” (33:56)

Dear readers, you are beautiful. May Allah’s beautiful blessings be upon you always.

Story No. 117 – They are not in need of your presents…!

A’bdullah Ibn Masud had been one of the close companions of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and had

developed into being a distinguished and zealous personality of Islam. During the caliphate of

Hazrat U’thman, he suffered a bout of illness, which eventually resulted in his death.

Hazrat U’thman once came to pay him a visit and finding him distressed, asked, what distresses

you so greatly? My sins, he answered.

“The honor of a Mu’min lies in night worship

Tell me your wish so that I can fulfill it for you.

and his esteem lies in his being

independent of the people.”

I desire God mercy, replied Ibn Masud.

Imam Sadiq (AS)

The caliph asked, if you permit, I could call for the doctor.

It is the Doctor who has made me sick, replied Ibn Masud.

If you want, I could present you with gifts from the Public Treasury.

Ibn Masud retorted, at the time when I was in need, you did not give me a thing and now that I am

not in need, you wish to shower me with presents!

Hazrat U’thman insisted, Let these gifts be for your daughters then.

They are not in need of your presents, Ibn Masud replied tersely. I have instructed them to recite

the chapter Al-Waaqiah every night, for surely, I have heard the Holy Prophet (SAW) say: One, who

recites the chapter Al-Waaqiah every night, shall never be afflicted by poverty.

“Prayer reverts both what has been destined and what has not been destined.” Imam Musa (AS)

Story No. 116 – One-bedroom flat

As the dream of most parents I had acquired a MBBS degree and passed PLAB to enter UK, the

land of braves and opportunity. When I arrived in the UK, it was as if a dream had come true. Here

at last I was in the place where I wanted to be. I decided I would be staying in this country for

about Five years (maximum Permit Free Period) in which time I would have earned enough money

to settle down in India.

My father was a government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was

a decent one bedroom flat. I wanted to do some thing more than him. I started feeling homesick

and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap

international phone cards.

Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald’s and chicken legs in KFC and discos and 2

years watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down.

Finally I decided to get married. Told my parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and

everything must be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest flight. Was

jubilant as I was actually enjoying shopping for gifts for all my relatives and friends back home.

If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through

all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one candidate.

In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get

anymore holidays soon and they cannot wait for long.

After the marriage, it was time to return to UK, after giving some money to my parents and telling

the neighbors to look after them, we (I was lucky and managed to get the visa of my wife early)

returned to UK.

My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The

frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes 3 times a week as she also has to

call her parents. Our savings started diminishing. After two more years we started to have kids.

Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the almighty. Every time I spoke to my

parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children. Every year I

decide to go to India.

But part work, part monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a

distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried

but I couldn’t get any holidays and was stuck up in the procedures and thus could not go to India.

The next message I got was my parents were passed away and as there was no one to do the last

rites the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents passed away

without seeing their grand children.

After couple more years passed away, much to my children’s dislike (by now nearly cocos) and my

wife’s joy we returned to India to settle down. I started to look for a suitable property, but to my

dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to

return to the UK. My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India.

My 2 children and I returned to UK after promising my wife I would be back for good after two


Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to a Scottish and my son was happy living in

Ireland. I decided that enough is enough and wound-up every thing and returned to India. I had

just enough money to buy a decent Two-bed room flat in a well-developed locality. Now I am 60

years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the routine visit to the nearby place of worship.

My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode.

Sometimes I wondered was it worth all this? My father, even after staying in India, had a house to

his name and I too have the same, nothing more.

I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM. Looking out from the window I

see a lot of children dancing. This damned cable TV has spoiled our new generation and these

children are losing their values and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my children

asking I am alright.

Well at least they remember me. Now perhaps after I die it will be

the neighbors again who will be performing my last rites,

God Bless them.

But the question still remains ‘was all this worth it?’

I am still searching for an answer….There are no unanswered

prayers…. At times the answer is NO.

Story No. 115 – Office boy

A jobless man applied for the position of “office boy” at a very big firm.

The HR manager interviewed him, then a test: clean the floor. “You are hired” he said, give me

your email address, and I’ll send you the application to fill, as well as when you will start.

The man replied “I don’t have a computer, neither an email.”

I’m sorry, said the HR manager, if you don’t have an email that means you do not exist. And who

doesn’t exist, cannot have the job. The man left with no hope at all. He didn’t know what to do,

with only $10 US in his pocket.

He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10 KG tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes

in a door to door round. In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the

operation 3 times, and returned home with $60 US. The man realized that he can survive by this

way, and started to go everyday earlier, and return late. Thus, his money doubles or triples every

day. Shortly later, he bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles.

5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US. He started to plan his family’s

future, and decided to have a life insurance.

He called an insurance broker, and chooses a protection plan. When the conversation was

concluded, the broker asked him his email. The man replied: “I don’t have an email.” The broker

replied curiously, you don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an

empire. Do you imagine what you could have been if you had an email?

The man thought for a while, and replied: an office boy!

The moral of this story:

1: Internet is not the solution to your life.

2: If you don’t have internet and you work hard you can be a millionaire.

3: If you received this message by email, you are closer to be an office boy, rather than a


Story No. 114 – Puppies for sale

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about

nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug

on his overalls. He looked down into the Eyes of a little boy.

“Mister,” he said, “I want to buy one of your puppies.”

“Well,” said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, “these puppies come from

fine parents and cost a good deal of money.”

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a

handful of change and held it up to the farmer. “I’ve got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a

look?” “Sure,” said the farmer.

And with that he let out a whistle, “Here Dolly!” he called.

Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.

The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.

As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the

doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared; this One noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid.

Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its

best to catch up….

“I want that one,” the little boy said, pointing to the runt.

The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said, “Son, you don’t want that

puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs


With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and

began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel

brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made

shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, “You see sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will

need someone who understands.”

The world is full of people who need someone who understands.

Story No. 113 – Do not do evil to anyone

There was a man in Isfahan who used to beat his wife but unfortunately she

succumbed to his beating though he had not intended to kill her. But when she

was dead he became fearful of her relatives. In a state of anxiety he came out of

his house and met an acquaintance to whom he posed his problem.

The friend told him to invite a young man to his house and behead him and put

the severed head next to the wife’s corpse. Then he would tell the wife’s relatives

that he had found them together in bed and was unable to control his ire. And

slew them both. The man liked the idea and sat at the doorway in anticipation of

a young man. After sometime a handsome youth passed by his house. He invited him inside and

beheaded him.

Then he summoned the wife’s relatives and told them the fictitious story. They were satisfied but

the person who had devised this plan had a teenage son who did not reach home that day. The man

was worried and when the son failed to turn up he came to the house of the one whom he had

offered evil advice and asked him if he carried out the plan suggested by him. Yes, said he and took

him near the dead bodies. He was shocked when he saw that the youth he had killed was his own

son. His evil advice caused the death of his own son.

The moral of this story is that one who digs a pit for others falls into it himself.

History is replete with such incidents.

According to Tafserul Mizan the following saying was common among the Arabs: One who digs a

hole for his brother; Allah throws him headlong into it. A similar proverb is present in Persian also:

Do not do evil to anyone the sane evil will turn towards you.

Reference: Greater Sins Vol. 3 (English) by Ayatullah Dastagaub Shirazi

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