INTRODUCTION

From A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Introduction

God created man because he loves stories.

Elie Wiesel

From our hearts to yours, we are delighted to offer you A 3rd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul. This book contains over 100 stories that we know will inspire and motivate you to love more unconditionally, live more passionately and pursue your heartfelt dreams with more conviction. This book will sustain you in times of challenge, frustration and failure, and comfort you in times of confusion, pain and loss. It will truly become a lifelong companion, offering continual insight and wisdom on many areas of your life.

We believe you are about to experience a truly remarkable book. Our first three books, Chicken Soup for the Soul,A2nd HelpingofChickenSoupforthe Soul and the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook, have deeply touched the lives of over 6 million readers worldwide. In the hundreds of letters that we receive every week, we read of the miracles of transformation that have been occurring for individuals and organizations that have been reading and using the books. They report that the love, hope, encouragement and inspiration they have found in these stories has profoundly impacted their lives.

A story may illuminate our relationship to others, encourage compassion, create a sense of wonder, or sanction the concept “We are all in thistogether.”A story can make usponder why we are here. . . . A story may shock us into recognizing a new truth, provide a new perspective, a new way to perceive the universe. universe.

Ruth Stotter

After reading the reports of how our first book powerfully touched so many lives, we are now more convinced than ever that stories are one of the most potent ways to transform our lives. They speak directly to the subconscious mind. They lay down blueprints for living. They offer solutions to our everyday problems and they model behavior that works. They remind us of our grand nature and our infinite possibilities. They awaken us from our habitual day-to-day lives, invite us to dream, and inspire us to do more and be more than we might have originally thought possible. They remind us of what is most important and they model for us the expression of our highest ideals.

How to Read This Book

This book can be read all at once in one sitting—many people have done that with good results. We, however, recommend that you slow down and take your time, savoring each story like a glass of fine wine—in little sips that will give you the time to reflect upon the meanings and implications for your life of each story. If you take the time, you will find that each story will deeply nourish your heart, mind and soul in a different way.

A Zuni once asked an anthropologist, who was carefully writing down a story, “When I tell you these stories, do you see it, or do you just write it down?”

Dennis Tedlock

The word “story” comes from “storehouse.” So a story is a store or a storehouse. Things are actually stored in the story, and what tends to be stored there is its meaning.

Michael Meade

Each and every story in this book contains possible meanings for your life. Take the time to reflect upon and discern that deeper meaning for your life.

We really don’t learn anything from our experience. We only learn from reflecting on our experience .

Robert Sinclair

Many of the stories, when we first found them, or when they were first submitted to us, had predigested morals and prescriptions for living at the end of them. For the most part, we have removed the moralizing and preaching from the stories so that they stand alone and allow you to take your own meanings from them.

A disciple once complained, “You tell us stories, but you never reveal their meaning to us.” The master replied, “How would you like it if someone offered you fruit and chewed it up for you before giving it to you?”

Source Unknown

Share These Stories with Others

Stories can teach, correct errors, lighten the heart and the darkness, provide psychic shelter, assist transformation and heal wounds.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

What a gift a story is!

Diane MacInnes

Some of the stories you read will move you to share them with a loved one or a friend. When a story really touches you to the depths of your soul, close your eyes ever so briefly and ask yourself, “Who needs to hear this story right now?” Someone you care about may come to mind. Take the time to go to that person or call, and share the story. You will get something even deeper for yourself from sharing the story with someone you care about.

Consider sharing these stories at work, at church, synagogue or temple, and at home with your family.

Stories are stepping stones on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

Ruth Stotter

After sharing a story, discuss how it affected you and why you were drawn to share it with the other person or people. And most important, let these stories inspire you to share your own stories.

Reading about, telling and listening to each others’ stories can be very transformational. Stories are powerful vehicles that release our unconscious energies to heal, to integrate, to express and to grow. Hundreds of readers have told us about how the first two books of Chicken Soup stories opened a floodgate of emotions and facilitated deep family and group sharings. Family members started recalling and relating important experiences in their lives and began to bring those to the dinner table, the family meeting, the classroom, the support group, the church fellowship and even the workplace.

To Navajos, a person’s worth is determined by the stories and songs she or he knows, because it is by this knowledge that an individual is linked to the history of the entire group.

Luci Tapahonso

Ministers, rabbis, psychologists, counselors, trainers and support group leaders have been starting and ending their sermons, meetings and counseling sessions with stories from the book. We encourage you to do this too. People are hungry for this nurturance for the soul. It takes so little time and it can have such long-term impact.

We also encourage you to begin telling your stories to those around you. People may need to hear your story. As several stories in this book will point out, your story might even save a life.

Stories are love gifts.

Many people have inspired us with their stories over the years, and we are grateful to them. We hope that in some small way, we will be part of inspiring you to love and to live more fully. If we achieve that, then we have been successful.

Finally, we would love to hear about your reactions to this book. Please write to us and tell us how these stories affect you. Also, we invite you to become part of this wonderful “network of upliftment” by sending us your stories.

Stories are like fairy gold. The more you give away the more you have.

Polly McGuire

Please send us any stories, poems and cartoons you think we should include in future volumes of Chicke n Soup for the Soul. See page 333 for our address. We look forward to hearing from you. Until then . . . may you enjoy reading A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul as much as we have enjoyed compiling, editing and writing it.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners