Archive for December, 2003

Father’s Instruction Book

Posted in Parables on December 23rd, 2003

A boy said to his friend, “My father told me to always use this instruction book that he gave me for all of life’s decisions. He gradually put the book together as my older brother and sister were growing up. All the advice he gave them throughout the years was written in this book and has been passed on to me. I am to consider the entire book prior to making any major moves. He told me that if I want to be successful like my brother and sister, I must never deviate from the book.”

His friend replied, “That’s really interesting, but what did your brother and sister do before the book was completed?”

Missing The Point

Posted in Parables on December 23rd, 2003

The planning board got together to discuss whether or not more handicapped parking spaces should be reserved for the courthouse patrons.  The members were divided.  Half of them insisted that there was a potential for more handicapped persons to be at the court house than there were parking spots to accomodate them.  The other half thought that to be such a rare occurrence and that it not be prudent to make most of the best parking spots unavailable to the general public.  Then one member of the board spoke up and said, “I believe that we should go out of our way to assist those less fortunate then ourselves.  In fact, I propose that we make even more parking places reserved solely for the physically challenged.  But instead of reserving the front spaces for them, we should move them all to the back of the parking lot…”

(We are all humanitarians when it is convenient)

Book on the Path

Posted in Parables on December 23rd, 2003

There was a book laying in the middle of a fork in the road and many people passed it by. Some stopped to ponder what it might be and continued on their journey; either to the right or to the left. One paged through the book and said, “This is a book of rules. I will isolate certain portions and quote them as laws. I will attempt to follow some of them and demand that others heed to most of them.” Another leafed through the book and said, “This book is full of divine promises and motivational quotes. I will segment a few of the passages and recite them whenever my friends and I are feeling down. I may even print or engrave them on everyday objects and sell them at a profit!” Yet another saw the same book and said, “This is a book full of magic spells! I will select a few of the sayings, and if I repeat them aloud enough times; I shall be healthy, wealthy and wise.” An educated man happened upon the book and said, “They are all fools!” So he argued about the contents and authorship of the book with his colleagues for many decades. Finally, there was one who approached the book with awe and wonder. He stopped to read the book and marveled at the path it took him.


Posted in Parables on December 23rd, 2003

One evening, a man purchased a TV set from an electronics store. Less than 5 minutes after removing it from the box, the television ceased to function. Immediately, he called the shop’s help desk to alert them of the problem and determine whether or not there was still enough time left to exchange the set that same night.

He began to explain his situation to the representative, “…I had set the TV on the stand, plugged it in, and seconds after I pressed the power button, the picture disappeared and smoke poured out from the cabinet.

The representative responded with, “Have you tried changing the channel?”

The Deckbuilder and the Homeowner

Posted in Parables on December 23rd, 2003

A carpenter was constructing a deck when the homeowner pointed out that he cut one of the boards too short.

The carpenter replied with, “No sir, I shortened the length of that board on purpose. That was to make room for the steel reinforcement pole that needs to be put there in order to secure the deck in the event of high winds.

“Why would you only put a steel reinforcement pole only on the left side of the deck?” the homeowner asked.

“Oh, I actually planned to put one on both sides of the deck-but I couldn’t put one on the right side because a large rock in the ground prevented me from digging to secure the pole,” said the carpenter.

“That’s interesting, because you also built my neighbor’s deck-and I didn’t notice any steel reinforcement poles on either side of his structure,” said the homeowner.

“Well, I didn’t care for your neighbor that much because he was always haggling with me, so I didn’t go out of my way to do anything extra for him,” said the carpenter.

“That neighbor you spoke of is my best friend,” said the homeowner.

Finally the carpenter replied, “Thanks for pointing out to me that I cut that board too short.”

The Principal

Posted in Parables on December 23rd, 2003

Many students only knew the principal by how the teachers spoke of him. Some teachers said that he was a scary man-anxiously awaiting the opportunity to punish the bad children. Other teachers painted a more favorable picture of the principal, stating that he really cared for the kids and had their best interests at heart. Some of the pupils chose to agree with one teacher over another, some even argued and fought about it amongst themselves. Nevertheless, the students only knew the principal by how the teachers spoke of him.

A Woman and Her Television

Posted in Parables on December 23rd, 2003

One time during the 1950’s a man picked a rural area and went door-to-door selling televisions. One resident didn’t understand TV, but the man still managed to sell it by convincing her it was the best piece of furniture anyone could own. Many of her neighbors criticized her purchase because they didn’t understand TV either. Some neighbors knew about television but still criticized her because they didn’t agree with the programming. Nevertheless, this resident stood by her decision and became very defensive of her television set. She went on to tell her children, grandchildren, and other members of the community that they should all own television sets—even though she never used hers!

One day a guest came to her home and, noticing the television, asked her why she didn’t use it as a television. She went on to tell her guest how she believed it was the best piece of furniture that anyone could own. But before she could say anything more, the guest turned on the TV and turned it to a clear channel. The guest watched as the woman was amazed at the bright light and rich sound emanating from the set. Then he proceeded to explain to her many amazing things regarding the television. But the woman got up, turned off the TV and said, “Well, if that’s the way you want to use your television that’s fine. But as for me, I’ll just keep things as they are.”

Tripp’s Travels

Posted in Tripp's Trips on December 23rd, 2003

Every year Tripp traveled north to visit his family for the holidays, and each year that he visited-his family had gifts waiting for him.  Now Tripp didn’t visit his family for the gifts, Tripp visited out of his love for them and desired to spend time with them.  But one year, Tripp was having a difficult time financially and he said to himself, “I will go north to visit my family and they will have gifts waiting for me.  Then I will sell them and get myself out of debt.”

But that year when Tripp traveled north to see his family, no one had anything of value for him.

The Salting A Bird Tale

Posted in Fractured Fairy Tales on December 23rd, 2003

Two boys were playing in a field.  One of them spotted a bird on the ground and tried to catch it so he could take it home with him.  The other boy told him that the way he was going about [catching the bird] was all wrong.  He said, “I know an easy way!  A friend of mine told me that he catches birds all of the time by just sprinkling a little salt on their tails.  Once they get salt on their tails, they can’t fly anymore.  Then it is easy to catch them!”

Have you ever seen your friend catch them that way?” inquired the bird-chasing boy.

“Well, I’ve seen all of the birds that he has at home,” replied his friend.

So the boy went home, grabbed the saltshaker from the kitchen table, and enthusiastically set out to pursue the birds.  As he was running back outside, he was thinking of al the different ways he would try to get salt on their tails.  But every time he got near a bird it would just fly away.

Still, the boy continued chasing after birds with his saltshaker in hand.  Each time he hoped to get just enough salt on the tail of a bird to at least slow it down.  Each time seemed a little closer than the last, but he still couldn’t salt a tail to save his life!  He never would catch a bird.

Nevertheless, the boy chased after those birds his entire life because he believed what his friend said.  

Mr. Smith’s House

Posted in Parables on December 7th, 2003

Several individuals were gathered around a house, pointing and arguing about whether or not Mr. Smith lived there. Some drew attention to the various decorations on the home and in the yard that were notably Mr. Smith’s. Some pointed to the mailbox and said, “See, it says ‘Smith’ on the mailbox in plain English, so it must be Mr. Smith’s house. Others appealed to various sources; neighbors, local lore, legal documents, and the like in an attempt to defend the fact that Mr. Smith indeed owned the house. But each attempt to prove Mr. Smith’s occupancy was thwarted by yet another attempt to discredit it. Generations of lectures, articles, and books were made available to all who wished to believe [or not believe] Mr. Smith’s home ownership status. But only a few knocked on the door to inquire.