Monday, July 5, 2010

Tell me a story,

My love for stories and storytelling started with my Gram, who was a great story teller. I remember as a small child, sitting at her kitchen table, listening to the greatest family stories. I love stories. And now, blogging is like story telling to me.

I have a few favorite parable-type stories that have really meant something to me. This is one of them, have you ever heard it? .....

Once upon a time, an old man sat in the shade at the gates of a city smoking his pipe. A traveler walked up and gazed through the gate. "I am looking to move, and this city may be perfect for me and my family," the traveler said to the old man. "Can you tell me, what are the people like in this city?"

"Well," asked the old man, "What are the people like where you come from?"

"The people where I come from? Oh, they are the reason I am moving! There are so many difficult people in my old city! The store owners are greedy, always trying to cheat you and over-charge you. Crime is increasing. The children have no manners, they are surly and lazy. I used to love my old city, but in recent years, everything has changed. I can't stand living there anymore. The last straw was when a new family moved next door to me, and they had no respect. They let their house and yard get all run down, and they have a baby that cries all of the time. I tell you, sir, I couldn't wait to get away from that place. This city, however, looks very fine. Is it as good as it looks?"

The old man took a long puff on his pipe, and sadly shook his head. "No, I'm afraid that you will find the people here to be just the same as you describe. It's quite a shame."

A little bit of time passed, and another traveler walked up to the gate. "Hey there, sir, how do you do? I was wondering about this city here. I am looking for a job, and thought that this might be a good place. Can you tell me, what are the people like in this city?"

"Well," said the old man, "What are the people like where you are from?"

"Pretty decent, I guess," said the traveler. "I basically liked the people in my home town. They were pretty dependable, and were always willing to help you if you needed a hand. Most were good people, although maybe a few were bad. Lots of hard working families, trying to make a living. They weren't perfect, for sure, but for the most part, they were decent. I had some good friends in my old home town, and I was sorry to leave them."

"Ahh," said the old man smoking his pipe. "Then certainly, you should be pretty happy here. You will find the people here to be just as you describe."

And so they were.

... I have a few more of these parables, which have been very important to my view of the world. Maybe I'll tell you another one, some day. Good night!

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