Nasrudin and saving the donkey

This post was written by admin on April 2, 2009
Posted Under: Mullah Nasrudin

Mullah Nasrudin was going to Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca) with his daughter. They rode on his prize donkey and had with them all his wealth to be purified by the pilgrimage. After six month they had to cross a desert. In the distance they saw a whirlwind of sand thrown up in the air. Soon they were captured by a band of thieves who stole all their belongings. After they left, the Mullah started crying, “My treasures, my money, my jewels!” His daughter just stood there with a little smirk. The Mullah repeated, “My treasures, my money, my jewels!” His daughter continued smiling.

The angry Mullah screamed at her, “We lost everything. How dare you smile?” She calmly bent down and retrieved all his treasure from under her clothes. The Mullah was momentarily ecstatic, but soon he cried, “Oh my donkey. My sweet, sweet donkey!”

The surprised daughter asked, “I saved your treasure. Why do you care about the donkey?”

The Mullah, who always complained about his wife’s weight, commented sadly, “I was thinking that if your mother had been here she could have saved the donkey under her clothes!”

The above teaching story shows how typically we see the glass half empty. When faced with a great loss and only a small loss happens we regret the small loss rather than thanking our good luck.

Then there is the story of the guy who was depressed because he had no shoes until he noticed the guy who had no feet. So often we do not appreciate what we have until we lose it.

One of the methods I teach in my relationship seminar is to appreciate people especially your loved ones. In finances whatever appreciates increases in value. It is the same with people (and things as well – more of this later). When you appreciate someone you value that person more. Your heart is warmed and you feel better. You want to spend more quality time with the person you appreciate.

Moreover, when you actually show the person your appreciation the other treats you better and appreciates you back. In this way your relationship improves. One way to demonstrate your appreciation is through smiling more. Again, the other will smile back at you – and this is one of the few culture free things about humanity. It does not matter where you are, you can smile at a person and they will smile back at you.

By the way when you smile your voice changes and people actually pick up the differences in the way you sound subliminally. Thus it is best to smile whenever you are on the phone.

Another advantage of smiling is that it produces endorphins and reduces stress. Laughter is an even better stress reducer and boosts the immune system. A Zen master once said, “A single deep belly laugh is better than half an hour of best Za-zen meditation.” This is one of the reasons that the Sufi masters teach with funny teaching stories

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