Wisdom story: A wise elderly man and two travelers​

4 min readFeb 19

There once lived a wise elderly man in a village near the mountains. He had worked hard on his farm all his life and now he was content to hand over most of the work to his children and the younger ones in his village. His days were now pleasant and leisurely. Most of all, he liked to climb up the mountainside behind his village and sit on a bench there, smoking his pipe, dozing from time to time, but also contemplating about the village, the fields, the people, and the animals in the village. One sunny summer’s day, as he sat there smoking his pipe, he heard footsteps approaching along the mountain path which passed by his bench. It was a young man with a heavy backpack on his back. He walked up to the wise elderly man and asked him if he could rest for a while in this spot as it had the perfect shade and view over the village below. “No, of course not, make yourself comfortable,” replied the elderly man. It was a hot day and the young man was clearly tired because it took him a while to catch his breath. After a few minutes, he turned to the elderly man and asked him, pointing down to the village below, “Is that your village down there?” “Yes,” said the elderly man. “Why do you ask?” “I was wondering what the people are like there,” the young man said.

The wise elderly man thought for a while, pulled out his pipe, and then answered with another question. “What are the people like in the place you’ve just come from?” “Oh, that’s just it,” said the young man, pulling a face. “I don’t even like to think about them. They were all liars, cheats, thieves, and drunkards. That’s why I’ve left. I’m looking for a new place to settle down and your village looks nice.” The elderly man looked at him sadly and said, “I’m afraid you’ll find that the people in my village are liars, cheats, thieves, and drunkards, too. This is no place for you.” After a few moments of looking at the village the young man sighed, picked up his backpack, and went on his way to find a village that didn’t have that kind of people in it.

A few days later, when the elderly man was sitting on the same bench, dozing in the summer sun and smoking his pipe, another young man approached along the mountain path, carrying his heavy pack on his back. He walked up to the elderly man and asked him if he could sit down and rest for a while. “No, of course…


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