1. Best Is Not Perfect
2. Broken Dishes
3. Cartoon Book
4. Closing Doors
5. Final Exam

Apologues (Page 2)

6. Holding a Knife
7. Immunity
8. Lock and Key
9. Lovers and Players
10. New Shoes

​​         Chinese Stories in English   

11. Nostalgia
12. Pay for Footprints
13. Perfect People
14. Performance
15. Self-Made Opportunity

16. Story or Ending
17. Strong Flavors
18. Two Shrimp
19. Worth the Risk?
20. Thanksgiving Card

1. "Best" Isn't Necessarily "Perfect"
By Chen Li


     [Japanese entrepreneur and philanthropist] Inamori Kazuo told this story about the contest between "best" and "perfect".
     On the 20th anniversary of the founding of Kyocera Corporation, Jann Leif, the Director of a French Company*, came to Japan for a visit. He spoke about how his "company's motto is to endeavor to be the best."
     Kazuo expressed his appreciation and also shared his own views. The word "best" is a comparative term meaning "better than" anyone else. This is a relativistic evaluation, so even in very low-level groupings there is still one which is "best". Kyocera's goal isn't to be "best", it's to be "perfect". "Perfect" isn't the same as "best", it's an absolute – not a comparison with someone else, but an inherent and constant value. Therefore, without regard to anyone else, nothing in the world can transcend "perfect".
     Leif ended up agreeing with Kazuo's viewpoint. He would never again propose "best" as a motto and would take "perfect" as the motto. Kazuo's aim of "perfectionism" isn't better, it's "supreme".
                                                                            (Selected by Tian Yuan from Leader's Digest,  April 2013, Second Semimonthly Publication)


青年文摘Youth Digest
June 2013, 1st Semimonthly Issue, p. 33


*[The "company" might be Hespul, a nonprofit association, but the transliteration is unclear. The name of the "Director" is even more unclear and "Jann Leif" is a pure guess – Fannyi]

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2. Broken Dishes
Unattributed


      After dinner, Mom and Sis were doing the dishes together while Dad and Junior were in the den watching TV. Suddenly the crash of broken dished resounded from the kitchen, and then there was silence.
     Junior turned to Dad and said, "Mom broke the dishes, that's for sure."
     "How do you know?"
     "Because she didn't bawl anyone out."

 Insight: We habitually use separate standards to view ourselves and others. That's why we're harsh when criticizing others but lenient towards ourselves.


 小品文选刊笑林 Selected Short Fiction: Forest of Laughs
Feb. 2014, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 7
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3. Cartoon Book
By @Liang Fentou


     Cartoon Book wanted to run away from home. The other books were anxious to talk him out of it.
     "Music Book is gone, and Fine Arts Book is gone as well. How can you want to leave, too?" Dictionary and Sketchbook sighed.
     Cartoon Book shed a tear. "I can't bear to lose you guys, either, but what's the point in my staying here? I thought that Little Master would have time to read me during summer vacation, but he's in make-up classes at summer school every day."
     Cartoon Book then turned and left, without looking back.


故事会Stories Magazine, March 2013, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, P. 16
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4. Closing Doors
Unattributed


     George was strolling in the yard with friends one day. Every time they passed through a gate, George would close it behind them.
     One of his friends was quite puzzled. "Is it necessary to close these gates?"
     "Of course it is." George smiled. "All my life I've closed doors and gates behind me. You know, when you close a door, you're leaving everything from the past behind, whether it's your superb successes or your vexing failures. Then and only then can you get a fresh start."


今日文摘2013.2.1上半月#353, p. 67
Digest of Today's Literature #353
February 2013, First Semimonthly Issue
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5. The Final Exam
Unattributed


     The professor stood before his students, 20 advanced organic biology majors, getting ready to start their final exam.
     He said, "I'm happy to have shared this semester with you. I know you've all studied hard, and most of you will be leaving for med school after this summer. To make sure you all get your degrees without a problem, and to let you all enjoy your graduation celebrations, I've decided that everyone who wants to skip this final will receive a grade of B for the class."
     Enthusiastic cheers immediately filled the classroom, and most the students thanked the professor on their way out. As the last of those skipping the test left, the professor looked at the few remaining students and said, "Anyone else want leave? This is your last chance."
     One student got up and hurriedly left the room.
     The professor closed the door. He looked closely at the few students who were still there. "I'm glad to see you have faith in yourselves," he said. "Each of you will receive an A+."
                                                                                                                                                                                 Recommended By Chen Kaijian


今日文摘Digest of Today's Literature #353
February 2013, First Semimonthly Issue
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6. Holding a Knife
by Piao Jinhui


     Power is a knife. When power increases, the knife gets sharper and can harm others with only the slightest movement.
     That's why power makes people afraid.
     But the one who really needs to be afraid is the person who holds the knife. If he is too free and easy with that sharp knife, and wields it arbitrarily, the rancor and antagonism that will pile up on his head will smother him.


意林 Ideas Magazine
No. 209, February 2013, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 13
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7. Immunity
by Zhang Feng


     When somebody's being brownnosed, observers are always clear about exactly what's going on, while those involved don't have a clue: When someone is brownnosing someone else, we can see it clearly and we know they have an ulterior motive; but if ever someone brownnoses us, we're either absolutely unaware, or we'll take the excessive flattery as the truth. After all, no one is immune from flattery.
                                                                                                                                                                                     (Selected by Bloom on the Path)



意林 Ideas Magazine No. 209
February 2013, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 13
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8. Lock and Key
Unattributed


     A big, solid lock hung on the great door. An iron rod used the strength of nine oxen and two tigers, but still wasn't able to break the lock open.
     A key came along. Its skinny little body slipped into the hole in the lock and, "clink, clink," it turned and the lock popped open.
     Puzzled, the iron rod asked, "How is it that I failed to open the lock after using such power, while you opened it with such ease?"
     "Because," the key said, "I better understand its heart."

     Insight: Every person's heart is like a locked door. No matter how big an iron rod you use, it will withstand and won't be forced open. Only one who cares can become a delicate key. To enter a person's heart, understand the person.



小品文选刊 笑林 Forest of Laughs, Short Literary Selections Magazine
Feb. 2014, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 7
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9. Lovers and Players
@Wang Hailing


     There are those who don't have "love only" in their nature. They just have "love both," or "love all," or "love most," or "love more."
     If you're unfortunate enough to fall in love with this kind of person, you'll have to show tolerance and restraint.
     If you are this kind of person, avoid hurting innocent people to the extent you are able. You especially can't act opportunely and unconstrained, from passion in the name of love, discarding your wife (or husband) and kids.
     In fact, stopping at love from afar isn't so bad. The sweetness inherent in a secret love is its poignant tragedy. To a life as dull as water, it can add the passion and waves of emotion that you hope for.



意林 YiLin Magazine #210
March 2013, First Semimonthly Issue, p. 43
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10. New Shoes
By @Little7


     A man decided to have a pair of shoes made. "You want square toes or round?" the shoemaker asked him. The man couldn't decide, so the shoemaker told him to go home and think it over.
     The man returned a few days later but still hadn't made up his mind. [He ordered a pair without specifying the style of toe.]
     When he came to pick the shoes up he saw that one toe was square and the other round. "Why are they like this?"
     "You took several days and still couldn't make up your mind, so of course I had to do it for you," the shoemaker answered. "This'll teach you a lesson: Don't let other people make your decisions for you."


新故事 New Stories Magazine No. 323, April 2013, p. 7
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11. Nostalgia
by @Parrot Playwright


     Instead of saying you're fondly remembering old times, say you're reminiscing about all the possibilities.
     Today I can say, "If I'd won her heart then", or "Things would have been different if I had called that number". But by tomorrow, I may have missed an opportunity with someone else, or not called another number that I should have called.
     What is nostalgia? It's me cherishing the past I've already lost, and the future I might yet lose. 


意林 YiLin Magazine #210
March 2013, First Semimonthly Issue, p. 43
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12. Pay for Footprints
By Hu Xiangming


     A merchant passed through a stretch of soft, loose soil while delivering a cartful of merchandise. The cartwheels sunk in and he couldn't pull them out no matter how hard he tried, so he found some villagers and offered them money to help pull the cart back up onto the road.
     The villagers tied ropes onto the front of the cart. Each one grabbed a rope and they stood in a line to pull the cart forward. They pulled for a long time, chanting a work song, but for it all the cart didn't move from its original position. "As I see it," the merchant said, "I ought to pay each of you according to the amount of effort you put into the job."
     The group said OK and asked the merchant to stand off to one side and observe. Two of them were slippery characters who kept an eye on the merchant to see where he was looking. They intentionally exaggerated their facial expressions to make it seem like they were working as hard as they could, but the rope they were pulling on sagged in an arc and swayed back and forth like a swing. The villagers who were really making an effort had their heads buried in their chests as they pushed off with their legs to pull the cart forward. The cart finally got through the soft spot and the merchant passed out the reward to the villagers in accordance with what he had observed.
     The villagers were relatively happy when they got the money, except the two loafers who had each only received a small amount. They demanded an explanation from the merchant:
     "What, are you saying we didn't sing the work song loud enough?" one of them said.
     "Or maybe the effort didn't twist up our faces enough?" said the other.
     "Those two things showed that we put out the utmost effort," the two said together.
     "I didn't pay any attention to your facial expressions," the merchant said, "and not to your singing, either. I just focused on the footprints where you walked."
     Everyone looked where the merchant was pointing. The footprints of those who had goofed off were very shallow, while those who had really worked had left very deep footprints in the ground.
                                                                  (Selected by Yu Changsheng from the Ultra-White Literature Publishing House's Truth and Lies)


青年文摘Youth Digest
June 2013, 1st Semimonthly Issue, p. 33
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13. Perfect People
by @
Song Dandan


     If a girl makes you think she's absolutely perfect, don't believe it, there's sure to be something phony about her; if a man make's you feel he's absolutely top-notch, don't believe it, he's sure to have a frightening aspect that nobody knows about.


意林 YiLin Magazine #210
March 2013, First Semimonthly Issue, p. 43
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14. The Performance
by @Nineteen Hates


     The hospital was throwing a New Year's party for patients too seriously ill to go home. My father, a flute player, had signed up to perform.
     A day before the performance, however, Father's illness took a turn for the worse. We told him he should cancel, but he wouldn't hear if it. He said he couldn't disappoint his audience.
     The performance was quite a success, to thunderous applause. Father was very moved. He stood up, staggering a bit, and with some difficulty bowed to the audience with gratitude. I shed a tear at the sight.
     Even today, I'm often moved by Father's performance on life's stage.


故会事·新浪微故事大赛
2012 Stories Magazine New Wave Mini-Story Contest, p. 102
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15. How Do Opportunities Come About?
by Jiang Xiao Fei


     Yu Minhong is a famous businessman. [Click
here for bio]. A university student asked him, "Why do you always get the outcome you long for, but I never even get a decent chance?"
     Mr. Yu smiled and said, "I'll tell you a story. In my last year of college, I decided it was a tragedy that I'd spent five years of university life without love. Deep down I felt extremely unsettled....
    "So I chased all around the school looking for girls, carrying a bag full of books on my back. I finally spotted one, and I shadowed her for three months. She never realized it, because I stayed back at least 200 meters every time.
     "In the library, she'd sit there concentrating on a book, and I'd be at the other end of the library concentrating on her. But for a full three months I was afraid to take a step towards her....
     "Finally there was a sudden power outage at the library one night. Taking advantage of the dark, I got my courage up and walked over to her to help her find her book bag. I even started a conversation. Later I asked her to go boating with me at Bohai, and after that she invited me to her birthday party. Now she's my wife...."
     The student was very puzzled. "Mr. Yu," he asked, "does your story have anything to do with what we were talking about?"
     "What do you mean?" Mr. Yu said, still laughing. "Think about it. If I hadn't kept at it, shadowing her for all those three months, how would I have known what her work habits were? And if I hadn't known her work habits, why would I have kept watch in the library for three months? And if I hadn't been watching in the library, how would I have had that chance in the dark when the lights went off?
     "A lot of people see it as just my good luck, happening on a blackout in the library and getting the joy of marriage to a beautiful woman, but they don't know about those three-plus months of persistent searching and waiting! God doesn't waste His time giving a person opportunities; opportunities are the result of endless searching and waiting...."
     The student saw the truth in this.
     People these days think too much about becoming famous overnight or getting rich quick. If they stick with something a few months without getting results, they begin to complain that God isn't just or that they're not lucky. But they never ask themselves exactly when those achievers who are surrounded by "opportunities" started their struggle for success. How did their opportunities come about? Every person that's ever had a relationship should all give you the same answer – don't be lazy, follow her without complaining, and one day she'll turn around and see you.


http://zhan.renren.com/ourselveslovestory?gid=3602888498036408300&checked=true
Republished (w/Modifications) Stories Magazine, May 2013, 1st Semimonthly Issue, p. 83
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16. Story or Ending
by Snowy Drizzle


     If you entered the Chinese word for "story" in a search of web sites, you could get 113,000,000 hits. But if you entered "ending," you'd get only 44,900,000 hits. From this, you can see that not every story has an ending.


上海股市, 2012•11,总333期,第48页
Shanghai Gu Shi, No. 333, Nov. 2012, p. 48
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17. Strong Flavors
Why We Increasingly Like Stronger Flavors
By
Liang Wendao


     We Chinese traditionally give priority to eating, but we really haven't developed our esthetic judgment in that regard very well, or maybe it's just faded away. There are many reasons for this. I'll give you an example. Sichuan and Hunan foods are so popular that, surprisingly, even in places like Xiamen where they prefer more delicate flavors, people eat grilled fish when they go out for a late-night meal. People throughout the country like stronger flavors more and more, and it's that way even in Sichuan. I remember in Sichuan twenty years ago, even Chengdu food really wasn't all that hot or oily. They didn't add gobs of spices back then.
     The whole country likes stronger flavors, but at least that clarifies a problem. That is, there's a problem with the ingredients. The flavors themselves have changed or vanished, so we rely all the more on this kind of external, shallow, superficial stimulation to cover up the various deficiencies in raw materials.
                                                                                                                       (Selected by Ding Ding from the Yangcheng Evening News)


意林 YiLin Magazine #215
May 2013, Second Semimonthly Issue, p. 47
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18. Two Shrimp, A and B
by
Ma Changshan


     Two shrimp were swimming in a small river. They suddenly smelled a fragrant aroma and couldn't resist swimming in the direction it was coming from.
     The aroma was coming from a sheep bone.
     Just as the shrimp were getting close to the bone, a net bag rose out of the water. A treacherous shrimper was squatting on the shore.
     "We really blew it!" Shrimp A said.
     "Yeah, we've been caught by a human, just because we went for a whiff of that thing," Shrimp B agreed, catching the other's mood.
     "I wonder what's going to happen to us?"
     "I don't know, no other shrimp has ever talked with us about this situation. I've just now realized how important it is to create a science of history."



出版社:百花文艺出版社
Published by Baihua Literature and Art Publishing House
http://lz.book.sohu.com/chapter-9511-110873692.html
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19. Worth the Risk?
by @Feng Xiaoxiao


     At an intersection, a yellow light flashes. He rushes through.
     He smiles self-importantly: He won, one second….
     And if he'd lost….


故会事·新浪微故事大赛,2012 Stories Magazine New Wave Mini-Story Contest, p. 57
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20. Thanksgiving Card
Text / Lu Zhuoying


     I often take the bus when I go out on weekdays. It's long been my habit, when I encounter elderly passengers, to get up and offer them my seat. It used to be that the seniors who got my seat reacted in one of only two ways – warm thanks or cold indifference. The reaction I got from an old fellow I encountered yesterday, though, was something I'd never seen before. It went far beyond my expectations.
     I'd already noticed, when we were getting on the bus, that he wasn't your average fellow. He didn't crowd on and rush to find a seat like other people, but stood by just outside the door and waived at the passengers behind him to get on first, one by one. I couldn't help but notice such unusual behavior.
     He was sixty or seventy years of age, and skinny, but with a spine straight as a ruler. He had on a plain, old-fashioned blue khaki jacket and a baseball cap of the same material. His face was ruddy, with high cheekbones and eyes full of laughter. Deep wrinkles told of his experience.
     I had to get on before him because he was stubborn about it. The last seat happened to be right behind the driver, but before I got settled in, I stood right back up to give the seat to the old fellow when he got on. He sat down and I started to scuttle to the back of the bus when he unexpectedly called me back. While he groped in his satchel with one hand, I smiled and said, "No need to thank me – It was something I should do."
     In the time it took me to say that, he'd fished out an orange card about the size of a business card and stood up to place it in my hand. I took it and looked. Two eye-catching words were printed on it – Thanksgiving Card.
     A burst of warmth swelled up in my heart and I couldn't help reading it out loud: "'Thanksgiving card'. You're so kind."
     The old man smiled and said, "No, this is how it should be. I once saw on the news where a young girl didn't give her seat to an old man standing beside her, and they actually came to blows. He should be ashamed of himself for such behavior.
     "It's OK for you youngsters to think that giving up your seat to the elderly is an obligation, but we oldsters absolutely can't think like that. If someone is willing to give you a seat you have to know enough to thank them, and if they don't want to you have to forgive them. We all have to make allowances for each other. No one has a social obligation to give of themselves."
     I could see from the looks of the people around us that everyone on the bus was silently supporting and cheering for what he said. I privately admired him. Without realizing it, I happened to turn the card over and it turned out to have a line written on it: "You will certainly have a fortunate life!"
      I had to sigh over the amount of effort the elderly man had put into this. He hoped to spread his ideals throughout society.
     I was quite moved by the old man's spirit and actions. All of a sudden I wanted to make some of these Thanksgiving Cards, too – to thank others, but also as a reminder to myself to always give thanks....


咚咚呛的 博 客 Thumping Choke's Blog
http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_c27a7d070101avew.html


 

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