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Chicken Little was in the woods one day when an acorn fell on her head. It scared her so much she trembled all over. She shook so hard, half her feathers fell out.

Chicken Little was so scared she started shouting: “Help! Help! The sky is falling! I have to go tell the king!”

So she ran in great fright to tell the king. Along the way she met Henny Penny.

Henny Penny asked, “Where are you going, Chicken Little?”

Chicken Little yelled, “Oh, help! The sky is falling!”

Henny Penny asked, “How do you know?”

Chicken Little replied, “I saw it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head!”

Henny Penny yelled, “This is terrible, just terrible! We’d better hurry up.”

So they both ran away as fast as they could. Soon they met Ducky Lucky.

Ducky Lucky asked, “Where are you going, Chicken Little and Henny Penny?”

Chicken Little & Henny Penny yelled, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We’re going to tell the king!”

Ducky Lucky asked, “How do you know?”

Chicken Little replied, “I saw it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head.”

Ducky Lucky joined in the yelling, “Oh dear, oh dear! We’d better run!”

So they all ran down the road as fast as they could. Soon they met Goosey Loosey walking down the roadside.

Goosey Loosey seeing the group said, “Hello there. Where are you all going in such a hurry?”

Chicken Little shouted, “We’re running for our lives!”

Henny Penny shouted, “The sky is falling!”

Ducky Lucky yelled, “And we’re running to tell the king!”

Goosey Loosey asked, “How do you know the sky is falling?”

Chicken Little yelled, “I saw it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head!”

Goosey Loosey joined in the yelling and shouting, “Goodness! Then I’d better run with you.”

And they all ran in great fright across a field. Before long they met Turkey Lurkey strutting back and forth..

Turkey Lurkey said, “Hello there, Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, and Goosey Loosey. Where are you all going in such a hurry?”

Chicken Little screamed, “Help! Help!”

Henny Penny shouted, “We’re running for our lives!”

Ducky Lucky quacked, “The sky is falling!”

Goosey Loosey yelled, “And we’re running to tell the king!”

Turkey Lurkey asked, “How do you know the sky is falling?”

Chicken Little yelled, “I saw it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head!”

Turkey Lurkey joined in the noise, “Oh dear! I always suspected the sky would fall someday. I’d better run with you.”

So they ran with all their might, until they met Foxy Loxy.

Foxy Loxy slyly asked. “Well, well. Where are you rushing on such a fine day?”

Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey (together) all yelled, “Help! Help!” It’s not a fine day at all. The sky is falling, and we’re running to tell the king!”

Foxy Loxy was surprised, but asked, “How do you know the sky is falling?”

Chicken Little shouted, “I saw it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head!”

Foxy Loxy saw an opportunity and said, “I see. Well then, follow me, and I’ll show you the way to the king.”

So Foxy Loxy led Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, and Turkey Lurkey across a field and through the woods. He led them straight to his den, and they never saw the king to tell him that the sky is falling.

As the latest “Economic Stimulus Plan” is being urged to end our current alleged economic “sky is falling” catastrophe, it might be a good idea to keep these three fables in mind.

Hard work, patience and courage will win the day over laziness, greed and fear. Especially fear mongered by foxes.

Don’t panic. And don’t follow any sly foxes offering quick solutions.

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One of the followers of Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch (the “Mitteler Rebbe, 1773-1827) was known for studying and praying with great devotion, and displaying a kind, gentle manner to others. Yet, he still had a serious character flaw. He greatly admired his own virtues. Afraid that he was growing arrogant, the chassid decided to approach his Rebbe for guidance.

After hearing the chassid describe his predicament, Rabbi DovBer was silent for a moment, and then responded:

When G‑d created the world, He created both good and evil. After these two elements came into being, they came before G‑d and asked for their respective missions. “Spread the light of goodness and kindness in the world,” G‑d instructed the Good Side. “This is achieved by making people aware of their Creator.”

Evil asked, “But will I be able to do my job? Will people really listen to me?” G‑d then instructed the Evil Side to combat the good, thereby giving people the choice and opportunity to overcome adversity. The Evil Side asked, “But will I be able to do my job? Will people really listen to me?” When the Creator responded in the affirmative, the Evil Side asked to be told its name. “You will be called the Serpent,” said the Creator.

Upon hearing this, the Serpent became worried. He was afraid that his name alone would frighten people away and doom his mission. “Have no fear,” reassured G‑d, “you will succeed.”

Indeed, the Serpent was successful in misleading Eve to sin, convincing her to eat from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and to share her sin with Adam. After eating from the same fruit, G‑d banished the pair from Eden, and thus began all of life’s challenges.

However, when Adam and Eve realized their sin, they repented completely and managed to atone for their folly. Seeing the holiness that now permeated their lives, the Serpent came before the Creator again: “Destroy me,” he implored. “I will never be able to succeed now!”

“Have no fear,” responded the Creator. “I will change your name to Angel of Death. No one will recognize you.”

The Evil Side – disguised as the Angel of Death – did his sinister work for generations, until our grandparents Abraham and Sarah began spreading the knowledge of G‑d in their surroundings. Forlorn, the Angel of Death complained again that his job was too difficult, well-nigh impossible. “Fear not,” said the Creator, “I will change your name again. From now on, you will be known as Satan. No one will recognize you.”

So, Satan began his career. His work went well until Moses made his appearance. When he began teaching Torah, Satan was ready to throw in the towel for good. He appeared before the Creator asking for a merciful end; now he truly felt useless. Again, his name was changed. This time, he was renamed “Arrogance.”

Again, his name was changed. This time, he was renamed “Arrogance.”Arrogance now began his career. This time, his disguise was so good that he even penetrated houses of Torah learning. The more a true scholar studies, the more he realizes how little he really knows. However, under the influence of Arrogance, people would study and not be humbled by their knowledge. Instead, they assumed airs of superiority and looked down with disdain at the unlearned. Of course, they sugarcoated these feelings by claiming to defend the dignity of their knowledge, not their own person.

This continued until Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov arrived in this world. He revealed the true unity of G‑d, before whom all are equal—no matter their level of scholarship.

Again the Evil Side came before the Creator, disguised as Arrogance, asking for a merciful end. Again his name was changed. This time instead of plain Arrogance, it would be known as “Fear of Arrogance.” Being less bold than plain old Arrogance, Fear of Arrogance could do its work in peace.

“Now listen here,” concluded the Mitteler Rebbe, “you should know that Fear of Arrogance is Arrogance, who is Satan, who is the Angel of Death, who is the Serpent himself! Quickly, throw him out of your house because your life is at risk!

 

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The shoes story:

Positive thinking, negative thinking, attitude, perspective, mindsets.

You will perhaps have heard this very old story illustrating the difference between positive thinking and negative thinking:

Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.

The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here – nobody wears shoes.”

The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
This simple short story provides one of the best examples of how a single situation may be viewed in two quite different ways – negatively or positively.

We could explain this also in terms of seeing a situation’s problems and disadvantages, instead of its opportunities and benefits.

When telling this story its impact is increased by using exactly the same form of words (e.g., “nobody wears shoes”) in each salesman’s report. This emphasises that two quite different interpretations are made of a single situation.

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  1. “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid”

    – Gen Eisenhower.

    • The optimist says the glass is half full.

      The pessimist says the glass is half empty.

      A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

      – Winston Churchill

  2. A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

    – Winston Churchill

  3. Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. 14 For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work270 and gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 18 But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 19 After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29 For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (Matthew 25:13-30). 271

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