An Optionless Choice

A rich, old man with no offspring decides to hold a competition to determine who should get his inheritance. He summons all the poor people in the locality, and gives each one a seed. “Plant this seed and nurture it. In one year, bring back the flower that grows from it. Whoever brings me the most beautiful flower is capable of nurturing my wealth, and will, therefore, inherit it.”

One young woman plants her seed in a pot and waters it every day, but nothing grows out of it. At the end of the year, she is devastated. However, on the day set for inspection, she picks up her pot and carries it to the old man.

All the other competitors bring colourful, vibrant flowers, but the old man only glances at them. He walks straight to the young lady and smiles. “All the seeds I gave were dead. Only you were honest enough to bring back the original seed I gave you. You will handle my wealth responsibly.”

Sometimes, it is difficult to be honest. Yet, idealism is the right approach.

The woman puts the inherited wealth to good use by opening a hospital for the poor. As fate would have it, the woman falls terribly ill and is admitted in her own hospital. Her roommate, sadly, is a teenager battling a life-threatening disease and is bed-ridden for several months. The treatment has taken a toll on the youngster’s mind, and she has lost her will to fight any longer.

The woman’s bed is next to the room’s only window. All day long, she peeps outside the window curtain, and diverts the youngster’s mind by describing everything that she sees—beautiful sunsets, lush green gardens, and the hustle-bustle of people. The teenager grows very fond of the young woman, and excitedly looks forward to the narrations of the outside world.

In a twist of fate, the teenager has a miraculous recovery while the young woman succumbs to her disease. On the day of her discharge, the heartbroken teenager opens the curtains of the window to admire the view she had heard so many stories about. And all she finds is a bare wall!

Sometimes, it is easy to be honest. Yet, realism is the right approach.

The same woman. Exhibiting contradictory traits—idealism and realism. Still, both of her traits are equally lovable. Why?

Because her clashing approaches are bound by the same motive: to keep others’ interests above her own. In the first incident, she wants to honour the intention of the old man. In the second incident, she wants to ignite the aspirations of the sick youngster.

Our approach is a matter of a choice. Our motive, however, is a matter of our character.

Motive, Adapted, Bumps, Style


  1. Wonderful story, I loved the moral, “Our approach is a matter of a choice. Our motive, however, is a matter of our character.”

  2. Nice inspirational story ! .
    The last sentence touch the heart “however ,is a matter of our character”

  3. “Our approach is a matter of a choice. Our motive, however, is a matter of our character,” agreed!

  4. Amazing story !, beautifully illustrated the two contrasting characteristics of the same women. just loved the way it was composed and chain events turned up.

  5. With many twists, A great saying !!

  6. Pretty touching!!!.. gives a sense of idealism and realism at a same time.

  7. Wonderful story ! Moral Nice

  8. Beautifully explained!! (y)

  9. A good story about wisdom and human values!
    A wise man will even be able to turn trash into cash and that too for the welfare of all while in the hands of a fool, even gold may turn into dust.

  10. I really enjoyed this post, it’s always a challenge to know what the right thing to do is. At the end of the day good people show the best instincts

  11. Best story to describe the moral and values, also to choose the right thing on right time.

  12. Whenever I doubt whether I am going wrong or am on right path, your story serves a perfect answer.

  13. Ideal concept of revealing own worthiness.
    Being a responsible and dignifying self is moral and I am so believing this story.
    Thank You !

  14. Wonderful story. Our approach is a matter of a choice.

  15. I like the way you have wonderfully combined two stories with individual morals into one story. The stories are so well blended that they give a clear picture of different morals and one clearly understands when to use idealism and when to use realism .

    Having said that one understands when to use what, what they do finally depends on the great takeaway from this blog “Our approach is a matter of a choice. Our motive, however, is a matter of our character” i.e. What one does finally depends on his/her choice (freewill given by God to all of us) and secondly on his/her character/upbringing/circumstances.

    Hope we all are able to use our freewill wisely always!!

  16. Nice story and moral, “Our approach is a matter of a choice. Our motive, however, is a matter of our character”

  17. Great story!
    This story is reminiscent of Lord Krishna’s traits. He demonstrated both the traits throughout in his lifetime.
    Agreeing to become charioteer for Arjun, giving a part of his own army to Kauravas and agreeing not raise weapon in the war – Idealism
    Helping Pandavas win war against seemingly invincible adversaries – Realism

    We all have to face situations in professional world where we have to choose between Idealism and Realism. The choices that we make defines our character.

  18. really nice story..

  19. Wonderful Story (Y).

    To be honest::
    Yet, idealism is the right approach.
    Yet, realism is the right approach.

    I guess the lines got interchanged in the article :).

  20. A deep introspect of our approach towards life.

  21. What an excellent example of circumstantial value changes of life, flexible to the benefit of mankind.

  22. very inspirational story!!!

Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


An Optionless Choice - Arun Nathani Blog