Gratitude is good for business and its benefits come in all manner of unexpected ways. In the west end of the village where Mr. Chen lives, there is a merchant from Henan who runs a tofu business.
The merchant is famous for giving folks who buy his tofu every morning a free bowl of bean dregs, which they can use to feed their livestock and poultry. His business approach of “buy tofu, get free bean dregs” brings a long line of people to his stall every morning.
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One day, Mr. Chen went to buy tofu from the merchant and found a long line of people waiting. He asked the people in the queue: “The line is so long, he’s sure to be out of bean dregs before you get your tofu. Why are you still waiting?”
The people replied: “For anyone who comes in the morning, if the bean dregs are gone, he will charge 10 cents less for every pound of tofu.”
Mr Chen asked: “How do you know he really charges less? Maybe he gives you less on the scale when he weighs out the tofu.” The people replied in unison: “No, he has done business here for a long time. He is very reliable.”
That day, Mr. Chen paid 10 cents less per pound for his tofu. Being naturally curious, he went home and weighed it. It was just as the people said and contained the correct amount.
Gratitude leads to success
Thinking the merchant was clever, one day Mr. Chen asked: “How did you come up with the idea of giving away bean dregs?”
The merchant replied: “The most important thing is to be grateful. Think about it; tofu is not a food people have to eat every day. But they are willing to buy my tofu every day so that I can have a good life. Giving free bean dregs and charging less for the tofu are ways I can express my gratitude to the villagers.”
The merchant didn’t give away the bean dregs to get more business; he did it because he had a heart of gratitude. Because his motives were pure and kind, his business was always very good.
Be kind to others
In a slum in Rio de Janeiro there lived a boy who liked football very much. Because he couldn’t afford a ball, he kicked plastic boxes, soda bottles, and coconut shells he picked from the trash. He kicked them around in the alley or any other space he could find.
One day, while he was kicking a pig’s bladder in a dry pond, a football coach happened to see him as he passed by. Seeing that the boy had potential, he gave a football to him. After he was gifted the ball, the boy played more vigorously than ever, and before long, he was able to accurately kick the ball into a bucket placed randomly in the distance.
When Christmas arrived, the boy’s mother said: “We have no money to buy Christmas gifts for our benefactors. Let us pray for them.”
After the boy prayed with his mother, he asked for a shovel and ran out of the house. The boy ran to a garden in front of a villa, where he began digging a hole.
Just as he was about to finish, a man walked out of the villa and asked what he was doing. The boy raised his sweaty face and said: “Merry Christmas coach! I have no gifts for you, so I wanted to dig a hole for your Christmas tree.”
The coach pulled the kind-hearted boy up from the pit and said: “Thank you, I got the best gift in the world today. I want you to meet me at my training ground tomorrow morning.”
Three years later, the 17-year-old boy scored 21 goals in the 6th World Cup Football Championship, winning the Gold Cup for Brazil for the first time ever. A name previously unknown rose to stardom, a legend was born, and the name Pele spread across the world and into the annals of history.
The moral of the story: kindness to others is kindness to oneself.
Translated by Patty Zhang