Posted by: Suhendra | May 30, 2009

A Boy and A Wise Man Story

Once upon a time, there was an old man who lived in the tiny village and was well known for his wisdom. It seemed that he could answer any question that was posed at him. And there was a boy who had questioned the wise man for few times just to trick and prove the old man can be wrong. But he hadn’t been successful until one day he found another idea. He would hold a little bird in his hand and hid behind his back. He would then ask the wise man whether the bird in his hand was dead or alive.

What happen is… if the wise man says that the little bird is alive, the boy will squeeze hard to kill the bird to prove that he is wrong. On the other hand, if the wise man says that it is dead, the boy will let the bird fly off, proving that the wise man is wrong. So, either way the wise man will be wrong. The boy thought that it was his time to shine!

As he approached the wise man, he said, “Old man, there is a bird in my hand. Is it alive or dead?” The old man was quiet. The boy asked again, “Old man in my hand is a bird. Is it alive or dead?” Still the old man said nothing. The boy for the third time asked again, “Old man in my hand is a bird. Is it alive or dead?”

Then finally the old man gave his answer with a low but firm voice, “The answer to that question lays in YOUR hands, young boy”.

The young boy was silent and stunned by the answer.


If you like the story, I have a few questions for you:

1. What is the moral of the story?
2. What does this story bring to you, if there is any? And what would you do about it?

I’ll be more than happy if you would share it to me.

Certified NLP Coach
Certified Practitioner of NLP
Member of International Coach Federation (ICF)
Member of American Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ABNLP)



  1. It’s about choices; everyday we have a choice to make that will affect us and to those around us, whether to do good or bad, it’s up to us.

  2. this is a lovely story… i knew about it when I was at college and has always inspired me.

    my take on the moral is that “power lies within you, and your strongest power is that of making choices”

  3. Do you happen to know the source or authorship of this story? I have used it in sermons several times but don’t remember where I got it from? Thanks for any information you can give me.


    • Unfortunately I don’t know the source.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: