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A Bundle of Sticks

Once upon a time, an old man lived with his three sons in a village. The three sons were hard workers. Still, they quarreled all the time. The old man tried a lot to unite them but he failed. Though the villagers appreciated their hard work and efforts, they made fun of them on their fights.

Months passed by and the old man fell sick. He told his sons to stay united, but they didn’t listen to him. So, he decided to teach them a practical lesson so that they would forget their differences and stay united.

The old man called his sons. He told them, “I will give you a bundle of sticks. Separate each stick and you will have to break each stick into two. The one who breaks the sticks quickly will be rewarded more.” The sons agreed.

The old man gave a bundle of 10 sticks to each of them and asked them to break each stick into pieces. They broke the sticks into pieces in minutes. And again, they started to quarrel among themselves as to who completed the task first.

The old man said, “Dear sons, the game is not over. Now I will give another bundle of sticks to each of you. You will have to break the sticks as a bundle, not as separate sticks.”

The sons agreed and tried to break the bundle of sticks. Though they tried their best, they could not break the bundle. They failed to complete the task. The three sons reported their failure to their father.

"You my children, are like these sticks," the old man said. "If you go your separate ways, quarreling, and holding resentments toward one another, you will each be alone like the individual sticks. The difficulties of life will easily hurt you. But if you work together, appreciate each other's strengths, cherish what you share in common, and care for each other, you will be strong like the bundle of sticks, and nothing in life can break you. Find strength and joy in one another's company, and you will live well and accomplish much."

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