A Herd of Cows Parable

A man had a herd of 250 cows and took great care looking after their welfare.

One day, however, a tiger ate one of them—and when the man noticed this, he thought, “I’ve lost one of my cows, and my herd is incomplete. What’s the point of having all these other cows?” And with that, the man drove all the cows off a cliff and to their death.

He is like a person who, after breaking just one precept of righteousness, thinks, “I’ve broken one, so I might as well abandon them all.”

The Blind Men and Elephant Parable

Many years ago six blind men lived near each other in a village in India.

The other villagers supported and helped the old men their whole lives. The men would hear stories of the worlds wonders and could only imagine what it looked like.

What piqued the men’s interest most was what an elephant looked like. They were told elephants could trample forests, carry huge burdens, and frighten all people with loud trumpet calls.

The men began arguing all the time about elephants. 

“An elephant must be a powerful giant,” said one of the them.

“My brother you are mistaken,” said the second, “An elephant is graceful and gentle if princesses are able to ride on their backs.”

“Both of you are wrong,” the third man said, “I’ve heard elephants can pierce a man’s heart with its horn.”

“How blind you all are!” Proclaimed the fourth man. “An elephant is just like a large cow.”

“An elephant must be a magical being,” said the fifth man. “The Princess is able to travel safely throughout the kingdom on it.”

“You fools!” Declared the sixth man. “Elephants don’t exist at all. We are victims of a cruel joke.”

They quarreled and each had different ideas of what an elephant is. The other villagers grew tired of them arguing so they arranged a time for them to meet the Princesse’s elephant. They put their hands on each others backs and were led by a young village boy.

When they reached the palace they were greeted by an old village friend who now worked as a gardener at the palace. Their friend led them to the courtyard where an elephant stood. The blind men were led to the elephant, each touching it to find out what it is.

The first blind man to speak had reached out and touched the side of the elephant. “An elephant is smooth like a wall!”

The second put his hand out touching the elephant’s trunk. “An elephant is like a big snake.”

The third touched the elephant’s tusk. “I knew it!” He said. “This beast is sharp and smooth like a spear.”

The fourth reached out and touched the elephant’s legs. “This is simply a giant cow.”

The fifth touched the elephant’s ear. “An elephant is a large fan or a magic carpet that can fly.”

The sixth reached out and touched the elephant’s tail. “You all have lost your senses! Even a blind man can sense that this is nothing more than a piece of rope.”

After they each felt part of the elephant they began to argue again, until they were shouting at each other saying their description of the elephant was the truth.

“Stop shouting!” Yelled the angry Princess approaching them. “How can you all be so certain you’re right?”

The blind men knew the Princess to be very wise, so they said nothing at all.

“The elephant is a large animal,” she said kindly. “You each only touched one part. Maybe if you put the parts together you will see the truth. I must now finish my meditation,” she said before walking away.

“She is right,” one of the blind men said, “We must put all the parts together to truly learn the truth. Let’s discuss this on our way home.”

The boy led the men home, one man put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, then each blind man succeeded in putting their hand on the man in front of them, walking home together.

“The Chinese Bamboo Tree” Parable By Les Brown

In the far East they have something called The Chinese Bamboo Tree.

The Chinese Bamboo Tree takes five years to grow.

They have to water and fertilize the ground where it is every day,
and it doesn’t break through the ground until the fifth year.

But once it breaks through the ground,
within 5 weeks it grows 90 feet tall.

Now the question is does it grow 90 feet tall in 5 weeks or 5 years?

The answer is obvious.
It grows 90 feet tall in five years.

Because at any time if had that person stopped watering, and nurturing, and fertilizing that tree, that bamboo tree would have died in the ground.

And I can see people coming out talking to a guy out there watering and fertilizing the ground that’s not showing anything,

“Hey, whatcha doing? You’ve been out here a long time, man. And the conversation in the neighborhood is…You growin a Chinese Bamboo Tree, is that right??”

“Yea that’s right”

“Well even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can see ain’t nothing showin.”

You know that’s how people are gonna do you:

“So how long have you been working on this? How long have you been working on your dream? And you have nothing to show? This is all you got to show???”

People gonna do that to you.

And some people ladies and gentleman, they stop.

Because they don’t see instant results.

It doesn’t happen quickly.

They stop, oh no, no, no, no…

You’ve got to keep on watering your dreams 

And when it begins to happen, they stop laughing.

They say “Look, whoa, look here, it’s, look up, hey man you know I knew you could do it, look, you got a job here?”

See during those hard times you didn’t know how you’re gonna make payroll, during those times when you failed and things didn’t work out, they were nowhere to be found. 

You know what I discovered, when you’re working at your dream, somebody said “the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.”

Oh it’s sweet to ya. It’s good to ya, why?

See when it’s hard and there’s a struggle, see what you become in the process is more important than the dream.

That’s far more important.

The kind of person you become, the character that you build, the courage that you develop, the faith that you’re manifesting.

Oh it’s something that you get up in the morning, you look yourself in the mirror, you’re a different kind of person, you walk with a different kind of spirit.

People know that you know what life is. That you have embraced life.
You knew it was hard, but you did it hard.