Who doesn’t love reading feel-good stories, short stories for adults with moral lessons especially after a tough day? Sometimes when the going gets tough, we forget all the beautiful things that occur in our lives. We are so caught up in the moment that we fail to appreciate what’s in front of us. These short stories for adults come with a moral lesson that’ll motivate and inspire:
All the Difference in The World
Every Sunday morning I take a light jog around a park near my home. There’s a lake located in one corner of the park. Each time I jog by this lake, I see the same elderly woman sitting at the water’s edge with a small metal cage sitting beside her.
This past Sunday my curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped jogging and walked over to her. As I got closer, I realized that the metal cage was, in fact, a small trap. There were three turtles, unharmed, slowly walking around the base of the trap. She had a fourth turtle in her lap that she was carefully scrubbing with a sponge brush.
“Hello,” I said. “I see you here every Sunday morning. If you don’t mind my nosiness, I’d love to know what you’re doing with these turtles.”
She smiled. “I’m cleaning off their shells,” she replied. “Anything on a turtle’s shell, like algae or scum, reduces the turtle’s ability to absorb heat and impedes its ability to swim. It can also corrode and weaken the shell over time.”
“Wow! That’s really nice of you!” I exclaimed.
She went on: “I spend a couple of hours each Sunday morning, relaxing by this lake and helping these little guys out. It’s my own strange way of making a difference.”
“But don’t most freshwater turtles live their whole lives with algae and scum hanging from their shells?” I asked.
“Yep, sadly, they do,” she replied.
I scratched my head. “Well then, don’t you think your time could be better spent? I mean, I think your efforts are kind and all, but there are freshwater turtles living in lakes all around the world. And 99% of these turtles don’t have kind people like you to help them clean off their shells. So, no offense… but how exactly are your localized efforts here truly making a difference?”
The woman giggled aloud. She then looked down at the turtle in her lap, scrubbed off the last piece of algae from its shell, and said, “Sweetie, if this little guy could talk, he’d tell you I just made all the difference in the world.”
The Moral of the Story: Each one of us can change the world. Maybe we can’t change the world right away but a single good deed will resonate with the rest of the world. Make every day count by knowing that you are capable of so much good, you just need to be brave to make the world a better place!
The Weight of the Glass
Once upon a time, a psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”
Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.
She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”
As the class shook their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”
The Moral of the Story: On days when you’re stressed out and feeling overwhelmed, learn to embrace the inevitable and let go. Some things cannot be controlled and no amount of worrying could put all your burdens away. Instead of letting stress get to you, embrace it and conquer it. Let yesterday’s worries inspire you to a productive day.
During a research experiment, a marine biologist placed a shark into a large holding tank and then released several small bait fish into the tank.
As you would expect, the shark quickly swam around the tank, attacked and ate the smaller fish.
The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fiberglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions. She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other.
Again, the shark quickly attacked. This time, however, the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off. Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behavior every few minutes to no avail. Meanwhile, the baitfish swam around unharmed in the second partition. Eventually, about an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up.
This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time, the shark got less aggressive and made fewer attempts to attack the baitfish, until eventually, the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.
The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark did not attack. The shark was trained to believe a barrier existed between it and the baitfish, so the baitfish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.
The Moral of the Story: Most people tend to give up after facing a series of setbacks and failures. But do not let these setbacks keep you from trying again. Think of each setback as an opportunity to learn. Do not let the barriers that you set for yourself in your mind keep you from achieving your goals. Remember, nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.
Being and Breathing
After spending nearly every waking minute with Angel for eight straight days, I knew that I had to tell her just one thing. So late at night, just before she fell asleep, I whispered it in her ear. She smiled – the kind of smile that makes me smile back –and she said, “When I’m seventy-five and I think about my life and what it was like to be young, I hope that I can remember this very moment.”
A few seconds later, she closed her eyes and fell asleep. The room was peaceful – almost silent. All I could hear was the soft purr of her breathing. I stayed awake thinking about the time we’d spent together and all the choices in our lives that made this moment possible. And at some point, I realized that it didn’t matter what we’d done or where we’d gone. Nor did the future hold any significance.
All that mattered was the serenity of the moment.
Just being with her and breathing with her.
The Moral of the Story: Our days are made up of fleeting moments. In a split second, these moments are gone. Do not let external pressures or stress keep you from appreciating the little moments that makes life beautiful. Every day is a miracle, from the moment you open your eyes in the morning and close your eyes at night.
Value the Things You Have In Your Life
A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand “Today my best friend slapped me in the face”.
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone “Today my best friend saved my life”.
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied, “When someone hurts us we should write it down in the sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
The Moral of the Story: It’s much easier to hold a grudge when you feel wronged but never close your heart to forgiveness. Sometimes we are all too consumed with our own emotions that we are temporarily blinded by hate or grief. Negative emotions will only bring you down. Letting go of the past and valuing the people that love you is the way to live a rich, rewarding life.