Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The North Wind and The Sun

My hubby called me this morning on his way to work and told me a little story, after which I promptly went to the computer to look it up to share with our kiddos for devotional today...
The North Wind and The Sun, an Aesop Fable is a beautiful illustration of the power of gentleness and kindness.  I absolutely LOVE this story and the wonderful message that lies in it.  I hope you'll enjoy!

This version is adapted from Aesop's Fables by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller

The North Wind had been busy sweeping leaves along the sidewalks with giant breaths. Then, he took time out to tease several little clouds by bouncing them around. He was having fun and ready to do a little blowing and boasting, especially when he saw the Sun. He took a deep breath puffed up large and blew straight towards the Sun, ready to continue their ongoing dispute.

Sun smiled down on the earth, heating up the ground and melting away the morning fog. She warmed the chilled waters in the lakes and streams and was having a wonderful morning until that annoying North Wind came blowing by. The Sun's smile almost disappeared as she prepared for another of North Wind's bragging sessions.

The North Wind blew alongside the Sun and began to talk about how strong he was. The Sun moved across the sky, pretending not to hear as he called her name and tried to ignore his howling. The day would be much more pleasant if he would just go away. But, as usual, ignoring the North Wind didn't work. He kept coming closer and was blowing little dust clouds and sending little whirlwinds to block her path through the sky. He knew it would only be a matter of time before she gave in and satisfied his urge to quarrel about which one was stronger. Finally, the Sun paused and turned to look at him.

Of course, the Sun knew that the North Wind was powerful. She had told him that very nicely on many occasions and had complimented his strength. But, the North Wind was looking for more than a mere compliment. He expected the Sun to admit that she was less powerful than he was. Admitting to being equals was okay, but there was no way the Sun was going to to say that the North Wind was more powerful or more important than she was just to satisfy the his blowhard ego!

So it was that the arguement started as usual. The North Wind stormed up close to the sun and thundered to a halt. Instead of giving him a burning glance, the sun winked and smiled in her warm and charming way.  (i just love that...don't you just have to smile when you read that little line???)

"Good morning," Miss Sun, whispered the North Wind. He was trying a calmer approach this time as he began to talk. "You are certainly looking bright today. I don't suppose you noticed the way I blew all the litter off the city streets yesterday? I don't know of anyone who can get quite as much done in a day as I can," he began.

"You are quite good," admitted the Sun. "But, all of us have a place around this world where we live." Once again, she displayed warmth in her comments.

Ignoring her attempts to be nice, the North Wind blurted out, "When are you going to admit that I am stronger than you are?" He was ready to start the old arguement again.

But, on this particular day, before the Sun could reply, she heard a whistling sound. She looked around and saw a traveler walking along on the road below them. The traveler was not paying attention to either the Sun or the North Wind and walked on unaware of their dispute. His happy whistling had caught the Sun's attention. As she looked down, she noticed that the man wore a coat, and she thought of a way to stop North Wind's bragging for all time.

"I might admit that you are stronger than me if you can beat me in a contest," said the Sun.

The North Wind's ego wouldn't let him turn down a challenge. "I can beat you at anything," he stated.

"Let us agree," said the Sun, that whichever of us can make that man below us take off his coat is the more powerful."

"It's a bet!," replied the proud North Wind. He could blow down trees, so he knew he could cause a man to take off his coat. Right away, he dropped down lower in the sky. He sent a puff of air that blew the bottom of the jacket upwards, hitting the man in the face. The man smoothed the bottom of the coat down with his hands and kept on walking. Annoyed, the North Wind blew harder. With the first cold blast, the man pulled the coat more tightly around him and turned up his collar.

The harder the North Wind blew, the tighter the man held onto his coat. The man grasped the ends of his sleeves with his fingers and from the inside of the arm holes pulled the arms of the coat closed at the wrist to keep the wind out. Then the man wrapped his arms across his chest to keep the wind from blowing the coat open. He tucked his chin down and leaned forward into the wind and kept walking. The North Wind puffed and puffed until he was out of breath. All that had happened was that the man hung onto his coat tighter than ever!

Then the Sun took her turn. She began to shine. At first her beams were calm and gentle. But, after the terrible cold of the North Wind, the sunshine felt pleasant to the man. His chin lifted, and he turned his face upwards toward the light. The Sun warmed her rays just a bit, and watched as the man's arms dropped to his side. She watched his hands re-appear after the man let go of the ends of his sleeves. She turned up the temperature and saw him open his collar and unbutton the jacket. Then, she heated the air around him, and the man took out a kerchief and mopped his brow. Moments later, as the Sun continued to shine on him, the man took off his coat and sat down in the shade of a tree to cool himself.

The Sun didn't say a word to the North Wind. Politely, she turned and continued her journey across the sky. Both of them knew that her gentleness and kind persuasion were more powerful than all of the North Wind's bluster and force.

There is so much to love in this little fable...

That beautiful sun has attributes that I'm sure we'd all love to possess...her kindness, her warm, sunny disposition (just had to say that one), her gentleness, her willingness to not gloat and 'rub it in' as she politely went on her way...
The North Wind...well, unfortunately I have to say I have tried to be a bit of a blowhard too many times in my life and have found basically the same results he did...nothing too positive!

It is the gentle and kind persuasion that will win the hearts of those that we love and those that we have an influence over.  We all love a little sunshine warming our hearts and generally try to "block out" the chilling winds as they come.

So today my goal is to share this positive, uplifting story with our kiddos in hopes that we will all be walking around sharing rays of happy sunshine and those pesky windy times will become fewer and fewer in our home.

Have a Perfectly Beautiful day today, my friends!  :0)