Stories can teach us powerful lessons about life, love and leadership, and this one, The Little Boy (author unknown), does just that…

Once a little boy went to school. One day his teacher said, ‘Today we are going to make a picture’.

‘Good!’ Thought the little boy. He liked to make pictures and he could make pictures of all kinds, lions and tigers, chickens and cows, trains and boats. He took out his box of crayons and began to draw.

But the teacher said, ‘Wait! It’s not time to begin!’ And she waited until everyone looked ready. ‘Now.’ said the teacher. ‘We are going to make flowers’.

Good,’ Thought the little boy. He liked to make flowers and began to make beautiful ones with his pink and orange and blue crayons.

But the teacher said ‘Wait, I will show you how.’ And it was red with a green stem. ‘There,’ said the teacher, ‘Now you may begin.’

The little boy looked at the teacher’s. Then he looked at his own flower. He liked his own flower better than the teacher’s but he did not say this. He just turned his paper over and made a flower like the teacher’s. It was red with a green stem.

On another day, when the little boy had opened the door from the outside all by himself. The teacher said ‘Today we are going to make something with clay.’

‘Good!’ thought the little boy. He liked to make snakes and snowmen, elephants and mice, cars and trucks and he began to pull and pinch his ball of clay.

But the teacher said, ‘Wait! It is not time to begin!’ and she waited until everyone looked ready. ‘Now,’ said the teacher are you killing or creating creativity‘We are going to make a dish.’

The little boy liked to make dishes. He began to make some that were all shapes and sizes.

But the teacher said, ‘Wait! I will show you how.’ And she showed everyone how to make one deep dish. ‘There,’ said the teacher. ‘Now you may begin.’

The little boy looked at the teacher’s dish and then he looked at his own. He liked his dishes better than the teacher’s but he did not say this. He just rolled his clay into a big ball again and made a dish just like the teacher’s. It was a deep dish and pretty soon the little boy learned to wait and to watch and to make things just like the teacher and pretty soon he didn’t make things of his own any more.

Then it happened that the little boy and his family moved to another house in another city, and the little boy had to go to another school. The very first day he was there the teacher said, ‘Today we are going to make a picture.’

‘Good!’ thought the little boy, and he waited for the teacher to tell him what to do but the teacher didn’t say anything she just walked around the room. When she came to the little boy she said, ‘Don’t you want to make a picture?’

‘Yes.’ said the little boy.

‘What are you going to make?’ Asked the teacher.

‘I don’t know until you make it,’ said the little boy.

‘Why, any way you like,’ said the teacher.

‘Any color?’ asked the boy.

‘Any color,’ said the teacher. ‘If everyone makes the same picture and used the same colors, how would I know who made what and which was which?’

‘I don’t know,’ said the little boy, and he began to make a red flower with a green stem.

This story makes me so sad.

How does it make you feel? 

Image source:  morgueFile