Humor & Wisdom

Here are a few quotes and stories I find especially funny, insightful or inspiring. Maybe you'll find something that strikes you too.

The Secret of Wisdom (My favorite joke)

A young man was searching for the secret of wisdom, and heard that there was a guru high in the Himalayas who knew. So he set off to find the guru, going through much hardship and travail until finally, high in the mountains, he found the Master sitting in the lotus posture.

"Tell me, oh Master!" he cried. "What is the secret of wisdom?"
The Master replied: "Good judgment."
"But how do you get good judgment?" asked the young man.
The Master replied: "Experience."
"And how do you get experience?" the young man persisted.
"Ah," said the Master: "Bad judgment."

Bad Luck (A Sufi story, as best I can remember it)

There was a man who raised fine racehorses. One day, the barn door was left open and his prize racehorse ran away. "Oh," said all the townspeople, "you poor man! What a terrible thing!" And the man said, "Oh, really? Do you think so?"

After a few days, the racehorse came back, bringing with him a whole herd of beautiful wild horses. "Ah," said all the townspeople, "you lucky man!" And the man said, "Really? Do you think so?"

Soon after, the man's son was trying to break in one of the new horses, and he was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. "What misfortune!" said the people. But the man said, "Oh really? Do you think so?"

Not long after, all the young men from the town were called up to fight in a war, but this man's son did not have to go because his leg was broken. "You fortunate man!" said all the people. "Really?" said the man, "Do you think so?" Etc., etc., etc........

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation
With the bricks others have thrown at him.

David Brinkley

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"

"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.

Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of the cracked pots that I love, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!