Moral stories on bad habits

Advice of a father

Ravi was the brightest student in his class. He excelled in his studies and was great at sports. He took charge of the extracurricular activities of his school and represented his school in various competitions. He was the only child of his parents, so it was natural that he was pampered by them and his grandparents. Though everything seemed great for him yet he possessed one bad habit that made him vulnerable. He gave up easily without trying hard. As soon as trouble grew, he surrendered.

He played tennis for his school but as soon as he lost in the finals, he stopped playing it even though the year before he was the champion. He then took up acting in school where he thrived but he gave up on it too. Days went on and he kept on changing his hobbies. From playing cricket to clay painting he tried it all, yet he was never satisfied. His father was worried about this for he knew once he was out of school, he couldn’t change his habit. He waited for a perfect moment to talk with his son.
One afternoon as Ravi came back home looking gloomy.

“How was your hockey practice today?”

“Not good. You know my eyes were about to be knocked out by a drag flick today.”

“You have just started playing the game, you will learn it soon.”

“I have decided father, hockey is not my thing. I won’t go again.”

“You cannot give up everything as soon as you face a problem son. You have to fight your problems. You cannot give up so easily.”

“I don’t want to but what can I do if the troubles are hard on me.”

“Change your attitude and fight them. Let me tell you a story. You will understand your problem then.”

“Okay. Tell me.”

“There was a dove” his father began, “who constantly changed her nest. The smell of her nest became unbearable to her over time. She always complained about it bitterly. One day she went to an old dove for advice. The older dove listened to her problem and after a thought told her, ‘Changing your nest all the time won’t change anything. The smell that bothers you comes from you, not from the nest.’ So, Ravi if you remain like the dove complaining about everything without looking at yourself, you will never be happy. Learn to face your problems. Things will never be easy but giving up shows your failure. I hope you will pay heed to my words for I know you have the talent to do anything if you give a try and face the difficulties. The rest depends on you. Now, freshen up and take your lunch.”

Ravi kept sitting on the couch for a long time.

“I will try harder tomorrow.” He shouted at his dad.

“I expect nothing less.”


The Well

A man was digging a well. It was a very hot summer that year and the scarce rainfall led to the ponds and lakes drying up. Like others, his fields too were affected by the scarcity of rainfall. To overcome this, his wife suggested him to dig a well so they could water their crops. He set out early in the morning and started digging in a dry patch. As the sun soared in the sky so did the temperature. He set digging in the spot. A couple of hours later he sat down to take rest. He had dug twenty feet yet there was no trace of water. As he was sitting a passerby noticed him, “My man, what are you doing here?”

“Digging a well, Sir.”

“Did, you find any water here?”

“No, nothing until now.”

“Oh my man, you are digging in the wrong spot. Let me show you a spot where you will find water as soon as you dig there.”

“I will be grateful to you, sir.”

“It’s a duty to help a fellow human, I am just doing my duty.”

The passerby took the man to a far place and indicated a spot, “There. If you dig there, you will get water as soon as you strike.”

The man started digging on the spot indicated by the passerby. He kept on his work but there was no trace of water as he dug on and on. His body was covered with sweat, “He said I would get water as soon as I dig here, now all the water that has gushed out is through my sweat.” He dug about thirty feet yet water seemed to have vanished from the ground.

“Hey you, why are you digging this place?” a voice came from the top. He looked up and saw another passerby waiting on the mound of the well.

“I am digging a well, Sir.”

“Is it so? Man, you are digging in the wrong place. There is no water here. Come up I will show you a place where you will find water.”

The person climbed out of the well as he followed the other passerby who showed him a different place.

“Are you sure, I will get water here, Sir?”

“Yes, you will get plenty of water here.”

The poor man set to his work again, working hard for water but his luck seemed to dry up.

“There will be water here” he thought positively and dug on and on. After digging twenty-five feet still there was no drop of water to be found. He sat there tired inside. Water was scarce but there was no scarcity of advice. As another passerby came up and promised to show him a spot where he could find water from the first shot of the shovel on the ground. He followed him as he showed another spot. He dug up twenty feet yet he had no luck and by the time he was out, dusk has settled in. He picked up his shovel and started homewards for it was dark to dig more.

On the way, he met his friend to whom he narrated his ordeal of not getting water even after digging ninety-five feet, his friend listened to his tale attentively.

“If you had dug seventy-five feet in one place you would have got water even in the rockiest of the surface. You listened to everyone rather than concentrating on your work so you couldn’t get any water in your well. If you had used all your energy in one place you would have got water anywhere.”

The man thought about his friend’s words and realized he was right, “Tomorrow I will dig in one place till I get water.” He promised himself.


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