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Mitos y Leyendas: A Story of Patience and Reflection, The Three Pipes

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  • Genny de Bernardo shares a story to make us remember the saying think before you act.
  • It’s about a Native American Chief who imparts a lesson in wisdom to one of his village members.
  • We often have arguments with friends or family, but are they really worth it?

Who hasn’t been angry or argued with a friend or family member at some point? You might even be going through a fight or a misunderstanding with someone right now, but please, think before you act.

You may be filled with anger or annoyance towards someone at this moment. This often leads us to say things we don’t mean and that can make the situation worse.

It doesn’t have to be this way; there are methods to prevent the problem from getting bigger, though it takes practice and a bit of breathing.

The story that Jenny de Bernardo shares today is precisely about thinking before acting. We hope you enjoy it. It may seem simple, but it’s actually quite important in such situations.

The Three Pipes

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Long ago, in a tribe, lived an old and wise chief. He was respected by the people and everyone turned to him for advice when in doubt.

One day, a tribe member came to him. The man was in a state of anger and rage. He said to the chief, «I’ve come to inform you that I will kill an enemy who has caused my anger. This way, no one will offend me again.»

The chief looked at him and said, «Okay, but before you do that, go to the sacred tree and smoke this pipe for a while.» The man took the pipe, filled with rage and confusion, and went to the tree.

There, he smoked the pipe. Gradually he felt something, but he couldn’t identify it. When he finished, he returned to the chief.


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The man met with the tribal leader again. He said, «I’ve finished smoking under the sacred tree. I no longer desire to kill my enemy, but now I will beat him until I feel it’s enough!»

The elder looked at him again and said, «Okay, that’s fine. But before you go, smoke this pipe at the sacred tree once more.»

Out of great respect for his leader, the man decided to return and fulfill the request to smoke under the sacred tree.

He smoked for 30 minutes. Once again, he felt something overtake him, but he still didn’t know what it was. When he finished, he returned to the elder.

Third Pipe

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With the chief, the man said, «Now I don’t feel like hitting or fighting. I’ll go to him and reproach him for what he did. This way, he’ll be embarrassed in front of all his relatives and friends and won’t offend me again.»

The wise man said that was fine, that what he planned seemed appropriate. Before leaving, he suggested that the man smoke a third pipe at the sacred tree.

The man was confused but accepted his leader’s advice. At the tree, he smoked again. This time, he was annoyed by the request, but after a while, his anger and annoyance vanished like pipe smoke.

When he returned to the chief, the man had something completely different to say than before.

Think Before You Act

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With respect, the man said to the sage, «You’re right, it’s not such a big deal after all. I will now go to the one I until recently considered my enemy and clear things up. I’m sure it’s a misunderstanding.»

The wise man smiled. The man also said, «I’m sure he will want to clear this up too, and I will regain my friend.»

The chief, pleased, handed him a pipe before he left to smoke with his friend. The misunderstanding was clarified, and the friendship was restored.

With this, we realize how important it is to think before we act, to take a moment to calm down before letting our emotions get the better of us. Thank you for your attention. Mitos y Leyendas bids you farewell for now!

Mitos y Leyendas
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