The Three Men: A Tale about Humbleness

28 March, 2019
Discover an amazing tale on humbleness in this article!

This inspiring tale is of three men who lived with their families in a small village that was affected by drought. Once the summer came, the lack of water became overwhelming. No one knew what to do.

The three good men were close friends and always helped each other. So one night, they gathered to discuss possible solutions. They agreed that the best option was to go to the nearest village, which was four days away, to buy water there. 

“One must become as humble as the dust before he can discover truth.”

-Mahatma Gandhi-

They shared their plans with everybody. Although all villagers desperately needed water, no one offered to go with them. So the three of them hit the road early the next morning with almost no food but determined to carry out their mission. If they didn’t do it, their people would probably die. They had to use their rations intelligently so they lasted the whole trip.

Water for all

The ancient and inspiring tale goes on to describe the journey of the three men. They walked and walked, without barely stopping, for four days straight. When they arrived at the nearby village, they were all sweaty and fatigued. However, they were very happy because they knew they were about to accomplish their noble mission.

Water falling from clay pot.

The villagers gave them a bed to sleep and some food that same night. The three friends were very grateful. The following day, they filled their vessels with water and put them on their mules, which could barely carry all the weight. The villagers didn’t accept any payment for the water, so the men felt truly lucky and happy.

The people advised them against walking during the day since the sun was burning hot and could kill them. The three men listened to them and so, when the sun set, they started their journey back home.

The three men learn a valuable lesson

When it was dawn, the three men decided to lie down for a few hours to get some rest, since the sun was beginning to come out. When the sun started to set, they decided to continue their journey. They believed they were already halfway there and thinking about their families filled them with enthusiasm. They also knew their people would receive them with big smiles on their faces.

However, when the sun started to rise, they realized they were in a completely unknown forest. They realized they were lost.

Although the three men worried, they still tried to think calmly. Finally, they decided to carry on in the direction they thought was the right one. But after some time, they realized they were still lost, and they’d continue to be for the next three days. They had almost run out of rations, and the harder they tried to find the path home, the farther away they seemed to get.

An unexpected exit

As they descended through the mountain, they saw an almost dead tree with one piece of fruit. However, it was a rather small fruit, so all three men jumped to grab it. They had no clue how to share it. As they were trying to figure it out, the men saw a shepherd walking toward them with his sheep. He was very old and seemed very friendly.

Red apple and the three men tale.

The man approached them and when he saw that they were tired and hungry, he asked what had happened to them. The old man then confessed that he was a wizard and that he could help them. However, each one of the three men had to propose a solution to their problem. Only if they came up with the right solution, a solution that honored their friendship, would he help them.

The right solution

According to this inspiring tale, the first man told the wizard: “If you have magic powers, then make more food appear.” The wizard reprimanded him. No solution can come from magical appearances. The second man then said: “Make the fruit bigger so that it’s enough for the three of us.” The wizard reprimanded him as well. Real solutions don’t try to change the external factors, but the internal ones instead.

Finally, the third man said: “Make us smaller so that the small fruit will be enough.” The wizard, pleased with that solution, said, “When we’re in big trouble, the solution is to always make ourselves smaller, humbler.” Then, he took two steps back and disappeared. He left the men his sheep as a gift. At that moment, it started raining and, once it stopped, the three friends realized they were very close to their village.