There is a story about a man who sold hot dogs by the roadside. He was illiterate, so he

never read newspapers . He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His

eyes were weak, so he never watched television. But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hot

dogs. His sales and profit went up. He ordered more meat and got himself a bigger and a

better stove. As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from

college, joined his father.

Then something strange happened. The son asked, “Dad, aren’t you aware of the great

recession that is coming our way?” The father replied, “No, but tell me about it.” The son

said, “The international situation is terrible. The domestic is even worse. We should be

prepared for the coming bad time.” The man thought that since his son had been to

college, read the papers, and listened to the radio, he ought to know and his advice

should not be taken lightly. So the next day, the father cut down his order for the meat

and buns, took down the sign and was no longer enthusiastic. Very soon, fewer and

fewer people bothered to stop at his hot dog stand. And his sales started coming down

rapidly. The father said to his son, “Son, you were right. We are in the middle of a

recession. I am glad you warned me ahead of time.”


What is the moral of the story?


  1. Many times we confuse intelligence with good judgment.
  2. A person may have high intelligence but poor judgment.
  3. The tragedy is that there are many walking encyclopedias who are living failures.


Intelligence is quickness to leam. Ability is the skill to apply what is learned. Competence is the ability and the desire to apply what is learned. Desire is the attitude that makes a skillful person competent. Many skillful people are incompetent. Ability without the right attitude is wasted.

Educated persons are those who can choose wisely and courageously under any circumstances. If they have the ability to choose between wisdom and

foolishness, between good and bad, between virtuousness and vulgarities, regardless of

the academic degrees they have, then they are educated.


An expert is someone who knows all the answers if you ask the right questions.


What is a Broad-Based Education?


Some animals in a forest decided to start a school. The students included a bird, a

squirrel, a fish, a dog , a rabbit & a mentally retarded eel. A board was formed and it was

decided that flying, tree climbing, swimming, and burrowing would be part of the

curriculum in order to give a broad-based education. All animals were required to take all

subjects. The bird was excellent at flying and was getting A’s but when it came to burrowing, it kept ¬†breaking its beak and wings and started failing. Pretty soon, it started making C’s in flying and of course in tree climbing and swimming it was getting F’s. The squirrel was great at tree climbing and was getting A’s, but was failing in swimming. The fish was the best swimmer but couldn’t get out of the water and got F’s in everything else. The dog didn’t join the school, stopped paying taxes and kept fighting with the administration to include barking as part of the curriculum. The rabbit got A’s in burrowing but tree climbing was a real problem. It kept falling and landing on its head, suffered brain damage, and soon couldn’t even burrow properly and got C’s in that too.

The mentally retarded eel, who did everything half as well became the valedictorian of

the class. The board was happy because everybody was getting a broad-based



What a broad-based education really means is that the student is prepared for life,

without losing their areas of specialization or competence.



Common sense



Education and knowledge without common sense has little meaning. Common sense is

the ability to see things as they are and do them as they ought to be done.



Jo John, a woodcutter, worked for a company for five years but never got a raise. The

company hired Bill and within a year he got a raise. This caused resentment in John and

he went to his boss to talk about it. The boss said, “You are still cutting the same number

of trees you were cutting five years ago. We are a result-oriented company and would be

happy to give you a raise if your productivity goes up.” John went back, started hitting

harder and putting in longer hours but he still wasn’t able to cut more trees. He went back

to his boss and told him his dilemma. The boss told John to go talk to Bill. “Maybe there

is something Bill knows that you and l don’t.” John asked Bill how he managed to cut

more trees. Bill answered, “After every tree l cut, l take a break for two minutes and

sharpen my axe. When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” This question hit

home like a bullet and John got his answer.


My question is, when was the last time you sharpened your axe? Past glory and

education don’t do it. We have to continuously sharpen the axe.


Team ISMDiaries

The entire ISMDiaries Team comes together to create articles to be shared via the Team ISMDiaries handle. What you are reading is a culmination of efforts of several members of our team and no one in particular.

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