#206: The Story of the Banana

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed."
Viktor Frankl

* * * * *

Tonight I talked with a friend from Trinidad who lives in New York City. He related a story his very traditional and wise grandmother told him when he was a young boy. It's a poignant story he has never forgotten.

The tale tells of a man who was depressed because he had no home, no job, no friends or family and nothing left to eat but a banana. He decided life wasn't worth living and vowed that after he ate the banana he would hang himself and gain relief from his worldly worries.

As he began eating the banana, he climbed up a tree and tied a rope to a branch. He then fashioned a noose and put it around his neck. He took the last bite of his banana and tossed the fruit's skin to the ground beneath the tree.

Just as he was about to leap from the branch, he saw a boy run to the tree, grab the discarded banana skin and begin eating it before running away.

The man realized that what was a useless banana skin to him was a meal for someone less fortunate than himself. He realized, too, that as bad as he thought his life was, there was someone else whose life was worse.

He undid the noose from around his neck and climbed down the tree.

He still had no home, no job, no friends or family and now nothing left to eat. But he now had hope. His faith was restored. He vowed to begin his life anew. He didn't know how or where he would end up but he understood that no matter how bad off he was, there was always someone worse off, like the little boy.

When times seem overwhelming and we have nowhere to turn, let us remember the story of the banana and realize that there is always someone worse off.

For, what is life without hope and faith?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUSAN134
    Excellent and thought provoking - thank you for sharing it
    4098 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    Faith, Hope & Love!

    4098 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6035648
    Awesome story, I needed the reminder.. Thanks for sharing emoticon
    4098 days ago
    Hope is very important!

    Thanks for sharing!
    4098 days ago
  • -PAULA
    I love this blog! Thanks for posting!
    4098 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    Oh, Lou, this is the MOST awesome story! Thank you for this. It is just what I needed today.
    4098 days ago
    Great blog, Lou. There is always someone who wishes they had what we have; and on the flip side of that coin, there is always so much to look forward to!
    4099 days ago
    emoticon thanks
    4099 days ago

    This was my guilty laugh for the day. When I saw the title, "the Story of the Banana" I assumed it was going to be funny. Maybe I set myself up and then misread it ... was this supposed to be dark comedy?
    A man says to himself, "at least I'm not a grubby starving street urchin" and finds a reason to live? Yikes.
    This is one cruel old man. So dark that it's funny.
    No wonder the poor guy doesn't have any friends.

    Thanks for the story. It's one that I'll remember and pass around.

    4099 days ago
    I thought you were going to say he found a reason to live that he was going to climb down from the tree and help the little boy. Maybe because I was thinking Love is about giving not getting. Well , what you said, is so true and it makes me think of that poem ,I forget how it all goes, but I am sure you heard this one. I complained I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet. Hugs, Joy
    4099 days ago
    emoticon That was a thought provoking story and I'm glad I read it!
    4099 days ago
    great blog, thanhs for posting
    4099 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5002230

    4099 days ago
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