Classic 104'12 read this inspiring poem on Resilliance to their class. If the poem is too long, you can choose certain paragraphs to read too.
Used by 110'12 Classic during their session on Resilience.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.
She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?
Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?
Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you able to be resilient like the coffee bean?
Comment from 110'12 Classic regarding stories:
Used by 110'12 Classic during their session on Resilience.
Bringing a giraffe into the world is a tall order. A baby giraffe falls 10 feet from its mother's womb and usually lands on its back. Within seconds it rolls over and tucks its legs under its body. From this position it considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from its eyes and ears. Then the mother giraffe rudely introduces its offspring to the reality of life.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.
When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.
Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they'd get it too, if the mother didn't teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.
The late Irving Stone understood this. He spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, and Charles Darwin.
Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives of all these exceptional people. He said, "I write about people who sometime in their life have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished and they go to work.
"They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified, and for years they get nowhere. But every time they're knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people who have learnt to be resilient. And at the end of their lives they've accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do."
Used by 109'12 Classic during their session on Leadership.
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!"
Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"
What moral can be drawn from the story?
Used by 109'12 Classic to during their session on Self-Respect.
There was once a fairy who was learning how to be a fairy godmother. Most magic and wonderful, she was the kindest and cleverest of all fairies. However, she was also a very ugly fairy. And no matter how much she showed her wonderful qualities, it seemed that everyone was determined to believe that the most important thing about a fairy was her beauty. In the fairy school they ignored her, and every time she flew off on a mission to help a child or anyone else in trouble, before she could say a word they were already screeching and yelling at her: "Ugly! Get out of here, weirdo!"
Despite her being little, her magic was very powerful, and more than once she had considered using it to make herself beautiful. But then she remembered what her mother had always told her: "My dear, you are what you are, warts and all; and never doubt that you are this way for a very special reason..."
But then, one day, the witches of the neighbouring land invaded and destroyed the country, putting all the fairies and wizards in prison. Our fairy, just before being attacked, put a spell on her own clothes and, helped by her ugly face, she managed to pass for a witch. That way she was able to follow the witches back to their den.
Once there she used her magic to prepare a big party for everyone, decorating the cave with bats, toads and spiders. The music was provided by a pack of howling wolves. While the party was in full swing, the fairy hurried off and set free all the fairies and wizards who had been imprisoned. When all of them were free, they worked together on one big spell which succeeded in trapping the witches inside the mountain for the next hundred years. And for the next hundred years, and more, everyone remembered the great bravery and intelligence of the ugly fairy.
And from that day on, no one in that land ever saw ugliness as a disgrace. In fact, it was a sign to them that they had other strengths too. They understood that everyone was different and had their own strengths. It was only a matter of acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses, then can we accept ourselves. As they respected each other’s flaws, they began to respect themselves too and they lived happily ever after!
Used by 109'12 Classic to end the session on Resilience! (How cute!(: )
Once upon a time there were two rocks, Brother Rock and Sister Rock. These two rocks, coincidentally, were sent to the same rock sculptor to be made into beautiful sculptures. The sculptor first picked up the Brother Rock, and started hammering away. However, Brother Rock was stubborn and tough. No matter how hard the sculptor tried, he could not chisel and hammer away the parts of Brother Rock that he wished he could, as the Brother was too resistant to it. In the end, the sculptor felt that the Brother Rock was a useless piece of rock for making a proper sculpture, and threw it away. Next, he picked up the Sister Rock, and started doing the same sculpting work to it. Sister Rock behaved differently from Brother Rock – she was calm and patient, and let the sculptor work on her, being hammered, drilled and chiseled away, reacting to whatever the sculptor wanted to create. Soon, she was a beautiful piece of art – A statue of a goddess. She was sent to be put in a showcase at a museum, and crowds of people surrounded her everyday to look at how beautiful she was.
Years passed, and the museum underwent a major renovation. The Brother Rock was made into a floor tile, and coincidentally, he was being installed right next to where Sister Rock was at in the museum. Brother and Sister were very happy to be reunited, and when the Brother looked at how beautiful she was now, he said, “I’m so proud to have a sister like you, so beautiful, so majestic…” And the Sister Rock replied, “If only you weren’t as stubborn and resistant to change and the sculptor’s methods, then you would have become a tall and majestic structure as well. But I thank you for giving me that chance to be picked to become so beautiful, it was only because you were stubborn that the sculptor picked me.”
Moral of the story
In life, the only thing that is constant is change. If we react to it in the way in which Brother Rock did, we might miss out on something that may potentially change our lives for the better. Like the Sister Rock, we can choose to adapt, and change under pressure. Eventually, we may become something beautiful. If you want the rainbow, you have to have the rain first (: Just like how diamonds are formed - they are formed when a rock is compressed under the highest pressure. Before that, if they cannot withstand the pressure, they crack and disintegrate, and turn into something of less value. So strengthen your mind. You can adapt to new situations and change, and eventually, become someone you never thought you can become.
Acted out by 109'12 Classic as an introduction to the session on Peer Pressure and Bullying.
Once upon a time, there was a young traveller. When the young traveller was just a little boy, his father brought him mountaineering. They walked far and wide, climbing up and down steep slopes. It was cold and snowy, and they had little food.
Soon, the young traveller was exhausted, and he just collapsed on the ground, and let out a huge sigh. He complained, “I’m tired!” Soon all around him, he heard cries of “I’m tired, tired, tired”. The young traveller did not know what it was, and felt frightened and even more tired.
He ran to his father and explained the strange phenomenon. As of course, his father knew very well that that was an echo, but he did not want the young traveller to find out. Instead, he told him to go to the same place where he had been, and shout, “I’m HAPPY!” And so the young traveller did what he was told, and he miraculously felt less tired, and happier as he heard the mountains ring with cries of “I’m HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY” all around.
Moral of the story
The best source of encouragement comes from the heart, but all these words come from our mouth. But from that very same mouth, comes words that can hurt others as well. And as the story goes, if everyone echoes those same hurtful words, the effect can get worse. BUT if everyone says those encouraging words, the effect of it will grow much bigger than if it was to be said by one. As a group and as a class, all of us can motivate each other as a group, and we all know how uplifting that can be (: