Saturday, 15 December 2018


I am writing for quite some time now.
I remember when I was 18, i had so many ideas.
I wrote so many things, so many poems,...
all for myself.

I did not dare to publish or even let anyone know, I wrote poetry.
Only in 2010 (aged 46), I published my first poem on the net.
On PoemHunter. And then still I felt so much that my poem
was more of a nursery rhyme than anything worth the name poetry.
So I chose an almost unrecognizable pen name, Aufie Zophy.

It takes a while to get some confidence.
Still when I write something now, the fear of "what will they think" is there,
but along the way one gets some confidence that some of our writings are inspiring others
and that makes it all worth it so much.

I got a friend in Kenya who just started a blog and writes exactly and in a wonderful way about this fear. I recommend to all of you to read her first poem in her blog. It is good and so wise:

Enjoy the poem, her (by clicking the link above) and if you feel like, publish something too.


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Lucky boys

I went for a walk on the beach
and saw a group of boys playing football.
The sea was quite rough;
the sky was looking magical.
Dark clouds with a few colorful holes in them
were adorning and giving almost surreal hues to the sea.

I thought by myself:
These must be among the most lucky boys on the planet
to be able to play in such a wonderful super-beautiful natural setting,
and perhaps not only today but many days in a week.

But then, I thought, how lucky am I too,
to have an opportunity to watch them play
in this wonderful spot of nature!

If just more often we appreciate the simple things in life,
life would become suddenly a bit less difficult...  ☺

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Peace in a bubble

If we are grateful for a moment
a giant bubble of peace comes and surrounds our being
and then every so often we allow ourselves to smash it
just because of life's small imperfections.

I wrote a small poem around this thought:

Peace in a bubble 
If you manage to be grateful for a moment or two
a giant bubble of peace starts to envelop you
But then more often than ever should be,
for small imperfections or a bit of ennui
we smash the peace, turn it into nought
with bouts of anger and negative thought. 

Aufie Zophy

Friday, 23 November 2018

A simple idea for a complex world

Some years ago, I spent some time in Vienna and visited a wonderful park.
I was struck by the many lonely people sitting alone on a bench, or walking,
enjoying the beauty of the park, but visibly lonely.

Just two days ago, I was in Taiwan and went to a wonderful park there too.
Exactly the same scenario was seen

I think there are far too many lonely people.

Why not we do something creative that could bring them together,
not for a date, but simply for a talk or walk with a friendly companion.

If we could try to have near the entrance of the park a few benches
which are marked or color coded as benches on which people sit,
who would not mind having a friendly talk with someone else or
have a walk through the park with someone else.

There may be different coded benches in the park for people who
prefer to enjoy the park all by themselves.

Anticipated result
When a new person enters the park and feels like talking or walking
together with a friendly companion, he could pick someone from the bench
or take a seat on one of the benches waiting for a friendly companion to enter.

If a creative approach like this would solve a bit of loneliness for just
a few people every day, it would be worth already the small investment.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Carpe diem

"even as we speak, the envious time is flying away; Carpe diem"
The second last line and the first words of the last line of the famous poem.

Carpe diem has been interpreted in so many ways,
but the one which is the very closest to my heart is:
Pluck the day and cherish it like we would cherish a plucked flower.
Then share its beauty with our loved ones
or give it away to someone more still, in need of beauty than ourselves

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Enough, or not?

"When you shift from a compulsion to survive
to a heartfelt commitment to serve
your life will automatically explode in success"
(Quote from Robin Sharma)

We have all been trained to compete
We have been trained to win and rejoice if the other loses
We have been trained to care for ourselves
and hoard as much as we can for the future
which is absolutely uncertain.
We have been trained to live and fear and gather things.

And yet, with this kind of training we want our children
still to live happy lives filled with purpose and peace.

Let us retrain a bit.
Life is not a competition
the universe has enough of everything
Service, selfless service is the way to peace,
the way to success.

I end this small reflection with a poem


 Waves of enchanting orange morning light
broke on the shore of sand so white.
The sea, colored by it in pastel, wonderfully,
whispered to the sun, a bit angrily:

'Hey, this is MY shore, to break my waves.
Please, dear sun, take back your wavy rays'.

The sun, smiling a warm, kind smile at once,
explained gently, the principle of abundance:
' Of everything created, God gives more than enough
We can truly share all things on earth with love'. 

Aufie Zophy

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Every day

One day at a time,
our age moves, a bit further from the day we were born
One day at a time,
our life moves slowly a bit closer to our final day

Let us become fully aware,
that every one of these days is a precious gift.
I feel a bit bad If I have been squandering time
I feel good if have spent some time, usefully.

The more we are aware of the precious gift of time,
the more we will be grateful for it.
the more we will reflect and try to use it better, day by day.

I think a sincere reflection at the end of the day
and a sincere prayer filled with thanks
can make a huge difference in each of our lives

Saturday, 3 November 2018

A thing of beauty

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever"
A famous line from John Keats.

While this sounds so true on first reading,
most things of beauty do not last forever.
We may remember and cherish the joy the things of beauty gave us
and they may live on in our mind, heart and soul as a sweet dream.
But all too often we tend to weep over the demise or destruction
of the things of beauty in our life.
John Keats, a poet who die at age 26.
He may have not lived long enough to reach the wisdom
of W Blake who lived up to the age of seventy:

"He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise."

When I had first heard and read this poem, I wrote in the comments
below the poem the following reflection (in 2010).

 Upon reading this wonderful poem I was immediately carried along the thought path, to one experience. I am living near the sea and one day I noticed a wonderful branch of a casuarina tree hanging almost horizontally, framing an astonishing view of the blue South China Sea.

A thing of beauty that moved my soul. Almost every day I took a long look and swallowed the beauty. But not long after I had first noticed it, the wonderful branch had come down in a storm. A thing of beauty is not a joy forever. I realized that many of the wonderful things in our lives are only temporary. They are ours to enjoy, to kiss it while is passes by. At the same time it is good to realize that it is flying and not permanent. And after it is gone, it is our duty to go and find more and other things of beauty, sometimes looking alike but never the same, sometimes more beautiful, sometimes a little less.

Since the above mentioned branch came down, other branches have grown giving me similar delights.

This piece of wisdom is easy to apply to amazingly beautiful branches of trees. It makes me a bit nervous if we start to apply it to the babyhood of our children, than the toddlerhood and so on until they will be out of the house. It makes me shiver to think in these terms if it comes to our intensest of human relationships. I hope so much to be the first to die in my own small cluster family.

I can detach with quite some ease from beautiful things, and find others in their place, but I cannot get detached from my family members. I am not so sure whether at all this would be desirable. Even though some Buddhists believe we should be detached from everything and everyone? ? ?

I remember when my mother died I was heartbroken, completely. And 15 years later, the sadness of the loss is still with me. It is however not a bitter sadness, but one filled with grace and thankfulness, a sadness that somehow gave me meaning; a motivation to live according to the beautiful values that were so dear to her. If I had managed not to be attached to her, I think I would miss this dimension of my life.

What do you all feel?

Friday, 2 November 2018

Sounds phony or not?


We don't want to be phony
That's OK
We don't want to sound phony
We don't want to look phony
That's not OK
Well quite often it is not OK

Because there are so many good things coming straight from our heart, that we refuse to say or do because we are too afraid that we may sound or look phony.

One example: appreciation.
There are many things we appreciate very much in our family, in our friends, in nature, in our life. Things that we truly appreciate. But how often do we express that appreciation? We are so afraid to sound or look phony.

Real phony people use flattery and quite often get their way. Flattery is actually quite easy to differentiate from heartfelt appreciation. But since we express so rarely heartfelt appreciation to each other we tend to lose the skills to see straight through phony flattery.

Let us reverse this pattern. Stop worrying about sounding or looking phony, and express your heartfelt appreciation to at least 5 people every day. The more we become familiar with heartfelt appreciation, the easier the phony flatterers will be noticed and the world of complimenting each other will be one of pleasure instead of one of fear to sound or look phony

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Let's be moved

Let's be moved
by the fabulous beauty of nature 
and stand in awe 
for every tree along our way 

Let us be moved
by the amazing health we enjoy
and be grateful
every second of the day

Let us be moved
by the wonderful power to help
and give a loving service
to anyone in need

Let us be moved
by the marvelous power to speak
and give a friendly word
to all people we meet

Monday, 29 October 2018

Not always sweet

Deep under my skin
a special love flows
through my veins

the love for the sea,
who whispers sweet words
in her soft and wavy voice.

But when the waves
become roaring and loud
my heart feels bruised.

When my sea allows
a jellyfish to come my way
i feel a bit betrayed.

But still, I love the sea.
In my heart
there is an ocean of love :)

I hope you enjoy the little poem above 

Saturday, 27 October 2018


Today, I want to pray,
to pray in a special way,
not to have or to get more
but to be a bit better
to live a bit better

I pray for enough alertness
to see and act on the many opportunities
that today, as each other day,
will present themselves to me
to help, to assist, to elevate others a bit
to inspire, to alleviate some sorrow,
to create a simple smile.

I pray for the wisdom
to walk through the day
with an open heart, an open mind
ever ready to understand something new
to know a bit more
to see the world from many angles

I pray for my wife and sons,
that they may get the same alertness
that they may get the same wisdom,
that they may find joy in selfless service
that they may walk Your path
that wonderful path filled with grace
filled with love and kindness
filled with harmony and peace
filled with strength and inspiration
filled mercy and tenderness
filled with gratefulness

I pray for my larger family
for all who work with me, for me,
for all my neighbours, my patients,
my friends and foes
I pray that the world will move fast
to this wonderful kindness revolution,
that is really standing in front of our door.

Let us live a life towards that great Vision
Use my body, my heart, my mind and soul
to achieve that greater Vision for humanity
I am ready to serve.
Please help me to be ready to serve forever...

Friday, 26 October 2018

Whisper from nature

A soft whisper from nature has entered my breath
I swallowed and inhaled it to my lungs' deepest depth
and now it is tickling my heart and my mind
it keeps humming a song of love and being kind

Whenever I feel lazy to give help to a friend,
it will make me reach out anyhow a loving hand.
The small voice gives me peace and harmony;
it awakens a sense to experience the beauty of reality

It encourages me to stop and throw out all my greed
It reminds me that grace and love is a much bigger need.
Dear small whisper of nature, please do not leave me
I cherish you so much, feel welcome to stay eternally

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Caregiver burn-out

In a few weeks time I have to give a talk on prevention of caregiver burn out in a palliative care situation. I am not an expert in this but I have had a few ideas about what I may incorporate in the talk.

1. My experience with my dad
When my dad got demented, a nurse came everyday for his bath.
I am living in Malaysia while my dad was staying in Belgium
When he got worse, I went quite often on a 10 day visit to Belgium
just to be with him. I was for these 10 day with him for 24h.
I cherish the moments I spent with him during these days,
but they were not easy days. I had to face the regression he had undergone
since my last visit. I had to deal with his deterioration in memory,
his deterioration in behaviour.
When I was there, the nurse who came every day for his bath, was not asking
me to take over the task of bathing him while I was there. She still came.
I was so grateful for that. To bathe your father, to wash his private parts,
is a stress, it is something extra burdensome, something that would have made the visit
harder still.
Surely it is good to involve the family in the care of the patient, but if on and off,
you can go just that extra time and alleviate the family of cleaning the wound for that
one day, it may mean a lot to them, it may mean a lot in terms of prevention of burn out.
What was more, is that the nurse did it in such a great way.

He did not like his daily shower, but the nurse knew him so well and was
so friendly and optimistic with him that she was capable of doing away with his resistance.
When she came in the morning she brought so much energy with her, that the house was feeling different after her visit.

2. Listening
Sometimes all a patient or a caregiver needs is to share some of the problems with someone they can trust. Making some time to ask open ended questions and truly listen, can make an almost miraculous difference for the one that is listened to.

Or just being with them in silence. No need to talk all the time.

3. Asking for strength.
When I start my rounds, I tend to ask some strength from our Creator.
This strength is always in the air surrounding us.
We just have to open ourselves up to it.

A sniff of breezy cool, I’m breathing in;        
Soft rays of morning sun on my skin              
A healing wave of love flows over me           
A small prayer out in all sincerity                    

I am not asking for things I miss                      
I only pray for peace and bliss                          
Because inside there is this certainty              
That our Creator knows what is best for me.

The Universe’s abundance knows my need 
Living a life of purpose, pure and sweet.     
No more anger, just tuning into the energy
That fills my soul with love and creativity.

Friday, 19 October 2018


When I was a teenager, in my late teens, I was writing already some poetry.
I tried to rhyme and as you go along with this habit, you tend to become a bit better at it.
But somehow along the way, the poetry bug did not last into my thirties.
At the time I had started to write poems, I thought whatever I wrote was sounding so much like nursery rhymes rather than high elevated level poetry. I was shy about and never published what I wrote then. They were written in Flemish (Dutch), my mother tongue.

At that time, it was fashionable for poetry to be like a soup of words, nice words, around a theme, but very hard to understand or even guess what was meant by it all. I have read so many award winning poems and all too often the message got really lost in the style and even though there was some sensual pleasure in reading the words, there was no clear understood message, no spiritual pleasure in reading the poetry.

When I read the essay of RW Emerson, titled the poet, I gained some insight that not all poetry had to be a hard to understand soup of words. He wrote: "The sign and credentials of the poet are that he announces that which no man foretold. He is the true and only doctor; he knows and tells; he is the only teller of news, for he was present and privy to the appearance which he describes. He is a beholder of ideas and an utterer of the necessary and causal. For we do not speak now of men of poetical talents, or of industry and skill in metre, but of the true poet." and "For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument that makes a poem,—a thought so passionate and alive that like the spirit of a plant or an animal, it has an architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing. The thought and the form are equal in the order of time, but in the order of genesis the thought is prior to the form. 12 The poet has a new thought; he has a whole new experience to unfold; he will tell us how it was with him, and all men will be the richer in his fortune. For the experience of each new age requires a new confession, and the world seems always waiting for its poet."

When in 2010 I fractured a vertebra and was bed-bound for 3 months, I was listening to audio-books and one of them quoted a poem of William Blake. I remember I was in my garden when I found the website that allowed anyone to post poems. I thought back about my teenage years and for the first time, I tried to write a poem in English, Little Purple Flower.

I still was quite unsure and used a poet name or pen name, Aufie Zophy.
The response to this poem on PoemHunter has been quite encouraging.
As I was more and more into poetry and read so many poems, I became more

Now I know my small pieces of writing, my small verses are worth to be called poems. 

Every time I put out a poem, I want it to be read.
I want to share some experiences, some insights, some little ideas in my poems and always hope that it will reach a large audience. Today I am very grateful for my capability of writing and for the readers who have read some of my work.

I have selected my most cherished poems and put them on a blog, while still  all or almost all my poems are listed on PoemHunter .

This is like a long invitation for you to visit my blog with poems and if you want, leave here and there a comment. I will be grateful for it and I hope you get something out of it: a bit of joy, a grain of inspiration, or just a tiny bead of love...

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Sprinkles from nature

 Sprinkle 1
An almost true story

A cheeky little cloud
kissed secretly
a tree in my garden

I had seen it

Soon the evening sun
gave it smilingly
a wonderful orange blush

Sprinkle 2
Lying on my back 

When I lie on my back in a lazy chair
below the branches of casuarina in the air
and the bouquet of leaves on top a coconut tree,
I refuse to close my eyes,
‘cause the enticing blue skies
with single white clouds passing by
are playing a supernatural game with the greenery.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

All these behaviours

Of all these behaviors that I detest,
there are so many that I have performed myself.

I love to be kind.
I love to be nice
But we do not all the time manage to live up to our ideals.

I love to be fair
I love to be just
But we o not all the time manage to live up to our ideals

I sometimes don't understand, how I can lose my temper
when the things that happened were in retrospect not that bad.
I sometimes don't understand why I chose to behave in such
or another not so good way.
But sometimes I do not manage to live my ideals,
Sometimes we lose it.

I guess, the times we mess up things, are like little lessons,
little lessons we learn, not to judge others too severely if they mess up.
Surely some people mess up more than others,
but still, if we have made similar mistakes ourselves,
we manage to make a milder judgement.

We are imperfect, each in our own way.
I can accept myself with all my shortcomings
and I think these shortcomings help me to accept
the shortcomings of others too.

Let us choose tolerance, acceptance, peace, love and kindness.
On and off we may not succeed and be nasty ourselves too,
but we can exercise kindness like we exercise our muscles,
the more we use it, the stronger it becomes

All the behaviours, I like,
I pray for the strength to practice them
All the behaviours I detest,
I pray for the strength to avoid them in myself
I pray for the strength to understand them when I see them in others.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Flowers on net

If you are sitting in a hotel room
and the day has been one of meetings
taxi drives and concrete meals
the chance is that you have not seen
a flower today

you may have passed by some flowers
but did not notice the exquisite beauty.

I wrote the above two paragraphs using the pronoun, you,
but actually it is more about my day today.
For awhile I felt stupid about it,
about having a day without beauty
while there are so many flowers in the world.

Then I turned on the internet and went to google groups
google communities, collections, other social media
with the word flower in it
and I made some time to observe, to truly look
at some wonderful pictures of flowers.
There were single flowers, groups of flowers
bouquets, fields of flowers, ...

I turned on the music, a Tibetan meditation music, and kept looking
at pictures of flowers, from wonderful souls who had taken pics of them
and were so generous to share them for free on the internet.

Somehow it made me feel good
It brought some peace to my mind
some love to my heart
some serenity to my soul.


For each simple and random kind act
A small flower grows in my soul,
For each beautiful flower observed
A random kind act grows in my heart

Sunday, 30 September 2018



Good morning,
Hey, I mean it, I want you to have a very good and lovely morning
A morning filled with beauty.
But, my friend, did you look at the beauty of the trees along your way to work?
If not, please start to do so, because truly, I want you to have a good morning,
filled with beauty.
A morning filled with love.
But, my friend, did you find the love in your heart this morning and make a few
flowery phrases with it to shower a few loving sentences on your spouse, or on
your children or on you parents?
If not please give them a quick call, give them a few loving words, because
I want you to have really a good morning filled with love.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Troubles and blessings

Sometimes the escalator of life,  that is meant to bring us to a higher level of living, seems to have stopped working. We try to step up, but each step seems increasingly difficult and sometimes it seems that the escalator of life is moving in the wrong direction.
Sometimes it starts with one nasty thing happening in the morning and then another nasty thing happening later on the day. And our life seems in turmoil. We start getting upset and angry and frustrated. Surely these feelings are appropriate in response to what sometimes is happening to us.
But then, sometimes we allow these feelings to become the masters of our life. I mean that these feelings will determine our next action. If we give up control over our next action; let negative feelings make decisions on what we do next, we may sit in a downward spiral and more nastiness may come our way.

The trick is, I think, to allow these feelings to come, recognize them, accept them but then not to allow them to become masters. This may sound easier said than done, unless we have the habit of looking at the balance

When we wake up and get out of bed, walk to the kitchen and have breakfast, get our shower and put on our clothes a thousand miraculously good things have already happened in our life. We slept, we have a bed, we can walk, we can see, we can eat, we have food, we have a kitchen, we have running water, we understand the importance of cleanliness,... Miracle after miracle has happened already in the first 30 minutes of our day. Then, still I did not mention the wonder of the trees outside of my window, and the sound of the birds and grass and the beauty of the morning sky.
If only we manage to aware at any time in our life, of these fantastic things happening, and manage to put them in the weighing scale on the side of good things, the few nasty things, even if they are quite big, may not carry enough weight to make the balance tilt to their side of bad things.
Here I do not deny that catastrophes do happen and sometimes life may really put some of us in extremely difficult situations. But the above is more about our day to day troubles which are often much smaller than our day to day blessings.
If we become more aware of all the good in our life, become truly grateful for all these good things, it will be easier not to let negative feelings become the master of our life. It will be easier to maintain a positive attitude, keep being fully in charge of our decisions about our next actions.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The big discovery

Have you discovered the biggest discovery regarding human happiness?
Kindness is happiness
Receiving kindness makes you happy
Giving kindness makes you doubly happy

I wish you lots of happiness
I wish you lots of lots of double happiness 💖😃

If you feel like, can share this posting;
no copyright.
This goes for any other postings too;

can find them in the archives on the right :)

Thursday, 13 September 2018


Whenever I say this word,
my ego feels superior
but my soul is not at peace
My ego feels clever
but my heart is like a mess

A superior and clever ego 
does not make me happy
A soul and heart at peace does

While all of us do perhaps ten stupid things in a day, we do also a hundred good and wise things. If we manage to look systematically for the good in others, we are capable of finding a sea, an abundant ocean of good things. Managing to focus on and rejoice in the good of others, is what gives us peace of mind and that is the foundation of happiness, something we all tend to want sooooo much.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The ripple

This is the story of an old auntie.

My auntie Netje (Antoinette) is having diabetes since many years. More than 20 years ago her right leg had to be amputated and ever since, she has some phantom pains; and of course walking with a prosthetic leg is not a very easy thing to do.

Whenever we go back to my home town, we try to visit her and bring her out from her apartment to visit some nice place or more often, other relatives or friends. On one of these outings we were on a visit to my cousin's place. Her husband is very good at gardening and has a small vegetable garden at the back of his yard, of which he is rightfully very proud. So on that sunny afternoon we had a wonderful cup of coffee with a delicious piece of cake from he local bakery. After that the husband of my cousin invited us all to see his vegetable garden.

While we were there, my auntie had waited on a bench facing a  beautiful stretch of grass. My son who must have been about ten years old time, had also not followed the rest of us and had plucked some daisies and dandelions from the grass for my auntie Netje.

We did not know about this and my auntie kept it as a happy secret in her heart. That is until some months later during another visit to our home town, when she said to me: Johan (My son) is the sweetest boy I have ever known. It took me a bit by surprise, not because he is not sweet but people do not often give compliments like this. I said: why? And the above story came out.

Until now, perhaps twelve years later, she still has a very special soft place in her heart for Johan. Whenever I call her or see her, she asks about him. If he comes along to meet her, the two of them are like the closest friends imaginable. My son loves her, and she loves my son. A small deed, a small attentive little random kind act creating a ripple of lasting happiness.

Can you imagine? Such a small act, and so much happiness, for my auntie, for my son, for me and my wife, for anyone who hears this wonderful story. A ripple, becoming a wave and if you and your friends share this story over a cup of coffee or it inspires you pluck some flowers for an old and lonely lady, the ripple, the wave, may become a tsunami of kindness enveloping the whole world... :)

Monday, 10 September 2018

Victims of ads

I just came back from a walk through the city.
On the most busy streets, so many cafes.
Each attracts large numbers of customers,
consuming the alcohol loaded beverages,
sold at prices that dazzle.

A study showed that teens consumed much
and here 'much' really means MUCH,
more alcoholic drinks, the more they had seen ads for them

Advertising is so successful because so much money is involved.
They use the most advanced psychological manipulative techniques
to spoil the minds of our youngsters AND the minds of us.

No one who is regularly consuming alcohol considers themselves
the victim of the ad industry. Most of us perhaps even do not remember
the actual ads, but science shows that the ads are very effective
and the sad thing is that truth, science and wellbeing of customers
plays absolutely no role in the construction of the ads:
ONLY: how can we help to sell more product at the highest possible price?

It is quite a sad sight to see teenagers drunk, giving up a large chunk of their thinking capacity, endangering themselves and others in traffic more than necessary, and sacrificing most of the next day's good feelings for unnecessary hangovers.

It is sad to see middle age people do the same. It is sad to see old people to the same.

Why they do it? Somehow the ads are responsible.
Indoctrination of people with false ideas that this or that alcoholic drink will bring them happiness and friendship is a blatant lie. It will bring light-headedness,  danger and hangovers. Hardly any ingredients for happiness. On top it, addictions always lurks. Most people think they are immune to addiction. The fact is that they are not.

I am not sure whether there is such a thing as responsible advertising. But there is a need for the wisest among us to use as much of psychology for reaching adolescents and adults with messages truly inspiring and truly leading a path on which happiness is easy to find.We have to expose the falsehoods in messages used for advertising and popularize simple truths in the most powerful ways

Monday, 3 September 2018

A net filled with fish

I like the story of the wise man who went to fish into the deep sea. He cast his nets and when he lifted his nets, they were filled with fish. All were small fish except one really big fish. Without a thought, he cast all small fish back into the water but kept the big fish.

This story can have so many interpretations, but the way I see it:
If we read the books of wisdom, the scriptures, there are so many words.
But the truly wise will be able to recognize the big message, the main wisdom
and all small fish, which may have value of their own, become redundant
in the face of the main message(s).

A few examples: 
The story of Genesis: so many people have been endlessly arguing and quarreling about the meaning and interpretation of each of its words. The message yet, the big fish, is so simple: All was and is and will be created by our God, that huge intelligent Power in the universe.

The story of Noah: How many words have been spilled on how real or unreal the story was. The big-fish-message: even if all others seem to have lost their integrity, let that not be a reason to lose yours. No matter what, the one who keeps his integrity will benefit in the end.

The "cruelties" in the scriptures versus the main message of love and grace and forgiveness.

The huge miracles we experience on a daily basis versus the small irritating frustrations. How often do we allow small fishes to dominate our day, our feelings and our life, while we ignore the magnificence of a sunrise, of the trees we pass, of the friendship, of our own vision, of the many kindnesses, of our touch and hearing, and all the other miracles in our life.