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Bring the Basket up the Stairs

An old lady with a big basket full of fruits stopped before a long flight of staircase. She suddenly realized that she had forgotten to get back her change from the cashier. She saw a man coming her way and asked if he could be kind enough to help her get the basket up the stairs and wait for her to come back from getting the change. The man was kind to agree to help.

The basket full of fruits was indeed very heavy. But since he had agreed to help, he walked his way up the stairs with the heavy load. Soon the old lady returned and saw the young man still half-way up the stairs. The man smiled back to her forcefully. Finally, the man managed to reach the top of the stairs but to his surprise, the old lady was already up there waiting for him. “I thought you knew that there was a lift over there. Thank you anyway” said the old lady smiling. The man felt embarrassed and stupid. He smiled back and took the lift down.

The man probably knew that there might be a lift somewhere around but he was only concentrating on what the old lady had said to him “Bring the Basket up the Stairs”. He had forgotten the initial objective and the meaning at the end of the task.

Many people restricted themselves to what was said or information that were provided to them. They were misled by a specific problem before their eyes without thinking of other alternatives. This story tells us that we should not follow the instruction blindly, we should think before we act. If we think before we act, we can think of other ways to react and by doing this, we can save time, effort and even money.

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