IN A small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner's daughter.
He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that we would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman's daughter. This proposal was met with a look of disgust.
The loan-shark said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black. The daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it were black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her. If it were white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter would not have to marry the loan-shark.
Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the businessman's garden, the loan-shark bent over and picked up two pebbles. While he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag.
He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one. The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done: Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag, take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating or pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing it was black and sacrifice herself for her father's freedom.
She drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it "accidentally" dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles. She said to the loan-shark, "Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look in the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."
The pebble left in the bag is obviously black and seeing as the loan-shark did not want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white and clear her father's debt.
Moral of the story: It is always possible to overcome a tough situation through "out of the box" thinking, and not give in to the only options you think you must pick from.
A gentleman was walking through an elephant camp, and he spotted that the elephants were not being kept in cages or held using chains. All that was holding them back from escaping the camp, was a small piece of rope tied to one of their legs.
As the man gazed upon the elephants, he was completely confused as to why the elephants did not just use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp. They could easily have done so, but instead, they did not try to at all. Curious and wanting to know the answer, he asked a trainer nearby why the elephants were just standing there and never tried to escape.
The trainer replied, "when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free." The only reason that the elephants were not breaking free and escaping from the camp was that over time they adopted the belief that it just was not possible.
Moral of the story: No matter how much the world tries to hold you back, always continue with the belief that what you want to achieve is possible. Believing you can become successful is the most important step in achieving it.
A shop owner placed a sign above his door that said: "Puppies for Sale." Signs like these always have a way of attracting young children, and to no surprise, a boy saw the sign and approached the owner, "How much are you going to sell the puppies for?" he asked. The store owner replied, "Anywhere from $30 to $50." The little boy pulled out some change from his pocket. "I have $2.37," he said. "Can I please look at them?"
The shop owner smiled and whistled. Out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of his shop followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, "What's wrong with that little dog?" The shop owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it did not have a hip socket. It would always limp. It would always be lame.
The little boy became excited. "That is the puppy that I want to buy." The shop owner said, "No, you don't want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I'll just give him to you."
The little boy got quite upset. He looked straight into the store owner's eyes, pointing his finger, and said, "I don't want you to give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I will pay full price. In fact, I will give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for." The shop owner countered, "You really don't want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies."
To his surprise, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the shop owner and softly replied, "Well, I don't run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!"
Moral of the story: "Disability is articulated as a struggle, an unnecessary burden that one must overcome to the soundtrack of a string crescendo. But disabled lives are multi-faceted - brimming with personality, pride, ambition, love, empathy, and wit." -- Sinead Burke