There was once an elderly and wise old guy who lived in a village. He would often spend his days sitting in the shade of a big tree in the centre of the village, reading books and talking to passersby. He observed everything that went on in his village.

One day, a traveler came upon this village and stopped at the village square. He saw the old guy sitting there and he asked, “Old man, I have been traveling across the countryside, and I have seen many things and met many people. Can you tell me what kind of people I will find in your village?”

The old guy looked up at him and replied, “Certainly I can, but first tell me what kind of people you have found on your travels.”

The traveler scowled and said, “I have met people who cheat, steal, and aren’t kind to strangers, and people who don’t look out for one another.”

The old guy looked up and, with a faint look of sadness in his eyes, said, “Oh my friend, those are the people you will find in my village.”

The traveler kicked the dirt under his feet, scoffed, and marched off towards the village. By and by, as the old guy continued to enjoy his day, another traveler came walking through the village. Once again, the traveler stopped and asked the old guy sitting in the village square, “Please kind sir, I have been traveling across the countryside, and I have seen many things and met many people. Can you tell me what kind of people I will find in your village?”

The old guy said, “Certainly I can, but first tell me what kind of people you have found in your travels.”

The traveler replied, “I have found people who are kind and welcoming of strangers, people who care for one another, and people who love. These are the people I have met in my travels.”

The old guy looked up and, with the faintest smile in his eyes, said, “My friend, those are the people you will find in my village.”