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EVERYONE GETS A LITTLE DOWN IN THE DUMPS SOMETIMES... 

Rather than searching the internet for cat pictures or drowning your sorrows in junk, check out these motivational short stories. I have put together the best inspirational short stories, both real and fictional, to pull you from your slump, make you smile and inspire you.

When life has got you in a slump, turn to these inspirational short stories. Not only is reading them like getting an internet hug for the soul, but they just may spark an idea or a change in you for the better. Read on and get ready to smile.

The Right Place

A Short Story Collection by Danny Rhoades on Nov. 9, 2017

A mother and a baby camel were lying around under a tree.

Then the baby camel asked, “Why do camels have humps?”

The mother camel considered this and said, “We are desert animals so we have the humps to store water so we can survive with very little water.”

The baby camel thought for a moment then said, “Ok…why are our legs long and our feet rounded?”

The mama replied, “They are meant for walking in the desert.”

The baby paused. After a beat, the camel asked, “Why are our eyelashes long? Sometimes they get in my way.”

The mama responded, “Those long thick eyelashes protect your eyes from the desert sand when it blows in the wind.

The baby thought and thought. Then he said, “I see. So the hump is to store water when we are in the desert, the legs are for walking through the desert and these eye lashes protect my eyes from the desert then why in the Zoo?”

The Lesson: Skills and abilities are only useful if you are in the right place at the right time. Otherwise they go to waste.

Colonel Sanders | Kentucky Fried Chicken

A Short Story Collection by Danny Rhoades  on Nov. 9, 2017

Once, there was an older man, who was broke, living in a tiny house and owned a beat up car. He was living off of $99 social security checks. At 65 years of age, he decide things had to change. So he thought about what he had to offer. His friends raved about his chicken recipe. He decided that this was his best shot at making a change.

He left Kentucky and traveled to different states to try to sell his recipe. He told restaurant owners that he had a mouthwatering chicken recipe. He offered the recipe to them for free, just asking for a small percentage on the items sold. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Unfortunately, not to most of the restaurants. He heard NO over 1000 times. Even after all of those rejections, he didn’t give up. He believed his chicken recipe was something special. He got rejected 1009 times before he heard his first yes.

With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the way Americans eat chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, was born.

Remember, never give up and always believe in yourself in spite of rejection.

Marriage – very touching!

A Short Story Collection by Danny Rhoades  on Nov. 10, 2017

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? 

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office… jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce –At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband…

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Author Unknown

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

A Short Story Collection by Danny Rhoades  on Nov. 9, 2017
Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”  

Moral: In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…
A Short Story Collection by Danny Rhoades  on Nov. 9, 2017

A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…

“Dad, look the trees are going behind!”

Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed…

“Dad, look the clouds are running with us!”

The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…

“Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” The old man smiled and said…“I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.”

Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.

Conduct Your Blooming

A Short Story Collection by Danny Rhoades  on Nov. 9, 2017

"Conduct Your Blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind."

Strange message in a stranger place. I don’t know who said it, but this pronouncement suddenly appeared on a huge wall of the 59th St. subway tunnel connecting the Lexington Avenue trains to the N and R lines. For many months I’d passed the area, which was roped off and covered over with heavy paper - reconstruction in progress. What else is new in NYC!

Then one fine day the plastic barrier was cut and the brown paper pulled down. There, gleaming in vivid colors, was a giant mosaic mural with a great scroll of a message running through it in a waving line that ran up and down from ceiling to floor and back.

You probably don’t think of the subway as a provider of uplifting impressions, but those of us who use it every day have got used to the strains of Bach or Segovia or music from the Andes, on any instrument, which have offered daily sixty-second refreshment on subway platforms. For example, up on the N/R platform, which I pass through on my way to the office, there’s a black woman with a tremendous voice who sings only on Thursdays. “Lord, teach me to take one day at a time!” is everybody’s favorite. And then there’s the Mexican orchestra leader from Paris who plays classical violin under the stairs from time to time, whenever he’s out of a job.

But this was something new. And so gigantic! “Conduct your blooming...” We who are glued to the city by our jobs and our lives, where else could we bloom? “....in the noise and whip of the whirlwind.” No one will disagree that the New York subway system has plenty of noise and whip to it, but no one would venture to call it a flower garden! Yet, as the Sufis say, “if not now, when? If not here, where?”

That’s what’s so hard to take in. We are where we are, those of us who haven’t the means to alter our location. But here where our lives can either flower or fade or vibrate with negativity, the gods offer us a different kind of possibility: To live positively, to love passionately within the limitations of our circumstances, within the compass of the life we have been given. We are invited to select our inner landscape, whether it be a garden or a slum dwelling. We can choose (or refuse) to give up the myriad complaints and negative reactions that may seem roundly justified by our circumstances and which can fill our daily hours to bursting. As G. I. Gurdjieff suggested, we can sacrifice the suffering with which we continually confront our limitations, in order to live richly and fully the life that is bequeathed to us.

Anyone who finds the path that such a sacrifice calls for is indeed blessed by a flowering. “Conduct your blooming…” a conscious choice.

Keep Your Dream

A Short Story Collection by Danny Rhoades  on Nov. 9, 2017

I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying:

“I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.”

“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.”

“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.'”

“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, `Why did I receive an F?'”

“The teacher said, `This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, `If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.'”

“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, `Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’ Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.

He stated, ‘You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.'”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.”

He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same school teacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week. When the teacher was leaving, the teacher said, ‘Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.'”

“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”

– Author Unknown

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