Once an old man was sitting at the gate of a town. A man came on horseback and stopped, and asked him, “what are the people of this town like?”

The old man asked, “Why do you ask this?”

The rider said, “The people of the town I have come from are very indecent. I was upset and disturbed by them. I had to leave that town. Now I want to become a resident of some new town. So I am asking you how the people of this town are.”

The old man said, “Brother, you had better move on. The people of this town are even more vile, more wicked, more indecent. Here you will get into trouble, go look somewhere else.”

The rider moved on. Just behind him a bullock cart came to a halt and a man looked around and said, “Grandfather, how are the people of this village? I am searching for a new residence.”

The old man asked again, “How were the people of the village you have left?”

Tears came to the eyes of that man. He said, “I didn’t want to leave, helplessly I had to leave. The people of that village were very loving. Now wherever I live the memory of those people will torment me. I was helpless, I was in economic difficulty. I had to leave it so that I can earn something, I need to try my luck somewhere else. But I have just one ambition that whenever my luck improves, I will  return there. I will reside in that village, in the end I want to die in that village. If I cannot live there then at least I want to die there.”




That old man said, “You are welcome. You will find the people of this village even more loving than the people of that village.”

A man was sitting there listening to all this. First he heard what the horse rider said and the old man’s answer. Then he heard what this man on the bullock cart said and the old man’s answer. The man said, “You have really surprised me. You said to one man that this village is very vile and wicked, just move on. And to the other you said this village has very loving people, you have no need to go further, you are welcome!

The old man explained, “People are just the way you are.” The old man was wise and observant.  He had met all kinds of people during his life time.  During his first interaction with the horse rider he understood that this was the kind of person who is always complaining,  blaming others and expecting people to keep him happy.  When he met the second humble man,  he recognized that this was a man who was content and a genuinely kind and loving man.  He was always happy with everybody.  He only saw the good in everybody.  And that is why the old man invited him to reside in his town, because he knew that he would only add on more cheer and happiness to the life of the residents of the town.

When we are bitter and ill  mannered,  we will find fault with everybody.  We will never try to change ourselves to fit into the society.  Where as if we are happy in every circumstance and grateful for whatever life has offered,  we will be happy anywhere.  What we see in others is only a reflection of ourselves.