A wealthy businessman was worried about his son's bad habits. He sought counsel from a wise, old man. The old man met the man's son and took him out for a stroll. They walked into the woods, and the old man showed the boy a small sapling and asked him to pull it out. The boy did so with ease, and they walked on.
The old man then asked the boy to pull out a small plant. The boy did that too, with a little effort. As they walked, the old man asked the boy to pull out the bush, which he did. The next was a small tree, which the child had to struggle a lot to pull out. Finally, the old man showed him a bigger tree and asked the child to pull it out.
The child failed to pull it out even after trying several times, in different ways. The old man looks at the boy, smiles, and says, "So is the case with habits, good or bad".
Bad habits are hard to get rid of once they have settled in our system. It is best to get rid of them early on.
Two parrots built a nest in a banyan tree. They lived with their two young ones, which they took good care of. The mother and the father parrot went out to gather food in the morning and came back home by evening. One day, when their parents were away, the young parrots were taken by a cruel hunter.
One of the birds managed to escape and flew away from the hunter. He ended up at a hermitage and grew up listening to kind words and compassion. The hunter put the other parrot in a cage, and soon it learned a few words and phrases. The hunter and his family were crude and didn't care much about kind words.
One day, a passerby was resting outside the hunter's hut. Sensing someone outside, the parrot said, "Fool, why are you here? Fool! Leave! I'll cut your throat". Scared, the frightened guy hurried away, and on his journey, he reached the hermitage where the other parrot was. The parrot at the hermitage said, "Welcome traveler. You are free to stay here as long as you want".
Surprised, the traveler told the parrot that he encountered a similar parrot elsewhere and it was very cruel. How is that you are so kind?” The parrot replied, "That must be my brother. I live with the sages, and my brother lives with hunters. I learned the sage's language, and my brother was influenced by the hunter." A person is known by the company he keeps.