Category Archives: Inspirational

The $10 Painting

123c777a864eda5e6e3652f251c704f4--military-art-vietnamA wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.

The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. “I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.

“Oh, no sir. I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.”

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?”

There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings! Skip this one!”

But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”

Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to see this painting! We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandt’s! Get on with the real bids!”

But still the auctioneer continued. “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

“We have $10, who will bid $20?”

“Give it to him for $10! Let’s see the masters!”

“$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?”

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!”

A man sitting in the second row shouted, “Now, let’s get on with the collection!”

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”

“What about the paintings?”

“I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets every thing!”

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “The son, the son, who’ll take the son?” Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

The Unicycle

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 8.02.02 PM.pngWhen I was 10 years old, my two oldest sisters got a unicycle to share for Christmas. They were not as thrilled as I was about learning how to ride a bicycle with one wheel, so they let me use it. I practiced riding the unicycle sometimes 2-3 hours at a time. I rode it so much that I broke the seat. Then I decided to make a wooden one. That idea wasn’t very practical for obvious reasons.

A few years passed, I kept thinking about how much I enjoyed riding my sister’s unicycle. I was in high school, saving my money for a school ring when I thought “a ring will be fun while I am in high school, but a unicycle will give me a lifetime of joy” I took my savings down to the local bike store and bought me a unicycle.

I practiced riding my new form of transportation and got pretty good. I got to where I could ride it forwards and backwards and even down stairs. I worked at a school two miles away, I started riding my unicycle to work, and soon realized you can’t coast. When you stop peddling you will stop moving.

After high school I moved on with my life, putting my unicycle in my closet for a couple of years. I decided to ride it one day as if the last time I rode it was yesterday. I realized somethings that you learn how to do, you will never forget. This made me realize, whatever your passion is, share it!

I now work as a custodian in an elementary school. I have enjoyed riding my unicycle in school Halloween parades, assemblies and neighborhood 4th of July parades. I let one of my neighborhood kids borrow my unicycle, he got pretty good. This year he received a wonderful surprise for Christmas, a unicycle! Pay it forward, share your passion.     

Two Pebbles

Black and White Pebbles.pngMany years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer’s debt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Take a moment to ponder this. What would you recommend that the girl do?

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

“Oh, how clumsy of me!” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”

The moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty. The girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

By Edward de Bono

Most problems do have a solution, sometimes we just need to think in a different way.