To who does the “gift” belong to when no one accepts it?

Some time ago in a village near the capital city of Japan, there lived an old samurai. One day when he was conducting a class for his students, one young warrior, who was famous for his rudeness and cruelty, approached the samurai wanting to challenge him to a duel. His favorite technique was provocation: he would make his opponent so indignant that, blinded by rage, he would accept the former’s challenge of a fight, and would then end up making a series of mistakes and ultimately lose. Sure enough, the young warrior began to insult the old man: he threw stones at him, he spat at him and called…

You see a flaw, others see a gift

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water…

A wise elderly man and two travelers

Once there was a wise, elderly man who spent his days just outside his village sitting under a shady tree where he would think. One day, a traveler came up to him and said, »Old man, I have traveled far. I have seen many things and met many people. Can you tell me, if I go into this village, what kind of people will I meet there?« The wise man replied, »Yes, I’d be happy to tell you. But first, tell me what kind of people you’ve met in your…