Inspiration: Stories With Important Life Lessons

Life is a gift that we need to cherish. Sometimes it seems impossible to appreciate our life because we spend so much of time stressing about making a living. 

In times like these where we’re stuck at home and worried, we need to realize that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Here are some inspiring stories about life to help you get through this lockdown.

Growing Older and Growing Up

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When an 87-year-old Rose decided to go back to college to fulfill her lifelong dream, she befriended many of the students. At the end of the semester, she was asked to speak at a football banquet, and her words were a lesson for all.

“Rose said ‘You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die,’ and, ‘There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.’

reads the story from the 1999 book ‘Chicken Soup for the College Soul: Inspiring and Humorous Stories about College,’ published under the title “Never Too Old to Live Your Dream” by author Dan Clark.

Rose went on to explain that the only people who were scared of death were those who had regrets. According to the story, Rose passed away a week after graduation, and her funeral was attended by over two thousand college students in tribute to the woman who taught them that “growing older is mandatory, but growing up is optional.”

One Season Does Not Define You

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A man was determined to teach his four sons a lesson about life, so he asked each son to visit a pear tree that was far away. He sent them each in a different season. When they had all returned, he asked them what they had seen.

The first son, who visited the tree in Winter, said that it was “ugly, bent, and twisted” but the second son described it as  “covered with green buds and full of promise” after seeing the tree in Spring. While the third son’s impression of the tree that he visited in Summer was that “it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.”

The fourth son disagreed with all of them, saying that the Fall tree “was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.” The father hearing each of their thoughts then said:

“You cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are – and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life – can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.”

The Search for Happiness

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There is a story about a teacher who made each student write their name on a balloon and then asked them to throw it all onto the classroom floor. She then asked each student to go into the room and find their balloon within 5 minutes. No one found their balloon.

She then told them all to pick up the first balloon they encountered and give it to its owner. In a few minutes, everyone had their own balloon. There is a similar story about a speaker addressing delegates. The moral of the story is that “Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness.”

Stress Less

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

You may have heard the question about whether a glass is half full or half empty, but have you ever heard about the psychology professor who asked her class how heavy the glass of water in her hand was? They shouted out answers about its weight until she informed them that it was all relative to how long she held the glass for; that is, the longer she held it, the heavier it would feel.

She said, “If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.” She went on to explain that that’s how stress and worries worked. The more time you spent pondering over your problems, the bigger they looked, eventually leaving you “feeling completely numb and paralyzed.” 

Focus On The Positives

Photo by Giorgio Parravicini on Unsplash

Two friends set out on a journey together through a desert. During the course of the journey, one friend slapped the other. The friend was hurt but recorded this in the sand. Later, they came to an oasis, and while taking a wash, the hurt friend got stuck in a mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. He then recorded this event on a stone.

When his friend asked him why he had written the first incident in the sand and the second on a stone, he replied, “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

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