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In his book “Winning With People” author John Maxwell tells this story, “Three sons left home to make their fortunes and did very well. One day, the three competitive brothers got back together to discuss the gifts that they were giving their elderly mother.

The first said, “I built a big house for mother.”

The second said, “I got her a Mercedes with a driver.”

“I’ve got you both beat,” said the third. “You know how Mom enjoys the Bible, and you know she can’t see very well. I sent her a brown parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took twenty monks in a monastery twelve years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a year for ten years for them to train him, but it was worth it. Mom just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it.

Soon afterward, their mother sent out her letters of thanks. To the first son, she wrote, “Milton, the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house.”

To the second son, she wrote, “Marty, I am too old to travel. I stay home all the time, so I never use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude”

To the third son, her message was softer: “Dear Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to know what your mother likes. The chicken was delicious.” (Maxwell, pg.74-75).

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