Yet more teaching stories
The Missing Donkey
One day the Mullah took his eleven donkeys to the bazaar to sell. On the way he counted his donkeys and noticed that there were only ten. He thought to himself, "What a fool I am, I lost one of my donkeys." So he got off his donkey and counted again and this time he counted eleven. "Thanks be to God," he thought, "I have found my lost beast." He rode his donkey again and when he counted in a little while again he counted only ten. He became anxious thinking that he must have left one behind. Again when he counted he had eleven donkeys. He said to himself, "It's best I walk to the bazaar, else I'll lose a donkey for sure."
I'm not that lazy
The mullah got a job at the Bazaar as a porter. Today he had to load bags of wheat onto a cart. The foreman noticed that he was carrying one bag where the other workers carried two. The Forman asked the Mullah, "How come you only carry one bag at a time and all the others carry two?" The Mullah replied, "I'm not that lazy to make one trip when I can make two."
The Treasure Chest.
A guy felt unlucky. Whatever he did ended up wrong and he never had enough money. He saw this wise old woman who gave him a tiny little locked treasure chest and told him it had an exotic magic object inside which would bring him luck. She told him to take it with him everywhere he went and shake it three times whenever he entered a new room. So the guy took the treasure chest everywhere and he started noticing things. As he shook his treasure chest and paid attention, he noticed an opportunity here and a danger or pitfall there. A year went by and his luck had totally changed. He went back to the wise old woman and asked for the key to the lock. The old woman at first refused but eventually acquiesced to his pleas and opened the treasure chest. The man looked inside and there was no magical object within.
A tale from one thousand and one nights.
This merchant in Baghdad had some bad luck. A thief robbed his house of all his gold. The authorities caught the thief but he would not reveal where he had hidden the merchant gold. One night in a dream he was told by a Genie to go to Cairo to seek his fortune. So with great difficulty he made his way to Cairo. When he got there as it happened there was a robbery and the people caught him and beat him up and then took him to the Captain of the guard. He told his story of how he had left his home in Baghdad and arrived in Cairo in search of his fortune. The Captain told him, "You fool, three times I dreamt a Genie who said that if I went to Baghdad I would find a great oak tree next to a well on top of a hill overlooking the great mosque. He said if I searched the well, I would find a great treasure. But, I'm wise. I stayed home. You don't find me going on a wild goose chase. The merchant recognized the well as that in his own home and returned home. He searched his well and found his stolen wealth.
But you chose us since we were the best teachers
(A true story)
In the beginning of a school year, the school principle and some research psychologists called three teachers in for a meeting. They told the three teachers that they had been chosen since they were the best teachers at the school to teach extra gifted students. They were told that the students had been given an IQ test and the cream of the crop were assigned to them. However, in order not to have the parents complain they could not say a single word about the fact that they had the best students to anyone, specially the students. By the year's end these "gifted" students were all straight A and excelled at most subjects. The teachers had another meeting with the principle and the psychologist and were asked about their charges. They said that they were so brilliant, so attentive, so easy to teach. They were now informed that this had been a test and that the students had been assigned to them randomly and were no different from their students of previous years. To this the teachers replied, "Maybe, but they did so well because we were the best teachers." To this came the reply, "No you were chosen by lottery too. In fact we chose you three because you were the average teachers at this school."
The above is based on a true research study on effects of expectation on learning. I changed the story to jazz it up but the facts have not been altered. This research has been repeated many times with the same results. As Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right."
You only own what is in your head.
When Avicenna (Ibn-e-Sina), the great Iranian physician and philosopher, was young, one day he was traveling to another city. He was riding a mule and had all his books loaded on another mule. As it happened he crossed the territory of a band of brigands. The bandits saw the lone rider and the two mules as easy prey and attacked and overcame the hapless scholar. They robbed him of all his belongings and the two mules. Avicenna pleaded with the chief of the outlaws to let him have his books back since they were no use to them, but they were the sum total of his knowledge. As it happens the head bandit was a wise and insightful person and could tell that this young student had much potential. He gave him a single mule and his books back and told him, "Remember only that knowledge is yours which is contained in your head." Avicenna headed the thief's advice and was on his way to becoming one of the greatest physicians in the history of humanity.
It is there but is it available?
Today it was raining cats and dogs... Thank God I had my umbrella and my raincoat with me. However, my umbrella was locked in my car's trunk and my raincoat locked inside my car. I was thinking about this as I was running to my car and I was getting soaked. I realized that this was a wonderful metaphor for the way we pass through the tempests of life: each one of us has the inner resources needed to face up with whatever life has to throw in our path. The problem is that often our resources are locked up inside where they cannot immediately do us any good. One of the best ways of freeing our inner resources is through hypnosis and NLP.