A Wise Man

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Posted by TerryS ( on October 01, 2001 at 17:55:18:

From Mr. Mom's Mailing List (261)
A wise man
Once there was an old and very wise man. Every day he would sit outside
a gas station in his rocking chair and wait to greet motorists as they
passed through this small town. On this day, his granddaughter knelt
down at the door of his chair and slowly passed the time with him.
As they sat and watched the people come and go, a tall man who surely
had to be a tourist--since they knew everyone in the town--began looking
around as if he were checking out the area for a place to live. The
stranger walked up and asked, "So what kind of town is this that we're
in?" The older gentleman slowly turned to the man and replied, "Well,
what kind of town are you from?" The tourist said, "In the town I'm from
everyone is very critical of each other. The neighbors all gossip about
everyone, and it's a real negative place to live. I'm sure glad to be
leaving. It is not a very cheerful place." The man in the chair looked
at the stranger and said, "You know, that's just how this town is."
An hour or so later a family that was also passing through stopped for
gas. The car slowly turned in and rolled to a stop in front of where the
older gentleman and his granddaughter were sitting. The mother jumped
out with two small children and asked where the restrooms were. The man
in the chair pointed to a small bent-up sign that was barely hanging by
one nail on the side of the door.
The father stepped out of the car and also asked the man, "Is this town
a pretty good place to live?" The man in the chair replied, "What about
the town you are from? How is it?" The father looked at him and said,
"Well, in the town I'm from everyone is very close and always willing to
lend their neighbor a helping hand. There's always a hello and thank you
everywhere you go. I really hate to leave. I feel almost like we are
leaving family." The older gentleman turned to the father and gave him a
warm smile. "You know, that's a lot like this small town." Then the
family returned to their car, said their thank yous, waved goodbye and
drove away.
After the family was in the distance, the granddaughter looked up at her
grandfather and asked, "Grandpa, how come when the first man came into
our town you told him it was a terrible place to live and when the
family came in to town you told them it was a wonderful place to live?"
The grandfather lovingly looked down at his granddaughter's wondering
blue eyes and said, "No matter where you move, you take your own
attitude with you and that's what makes it wonderful or terrible."
By Kris Gray

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