A great story for communities, mergers, and encouraging positive mindsets about other groups and people.
During the gold rush, on the road between Ballarat and Castlemaine a woman and her three daughters keep a shop. The store was really managed by the three daughters as the woman was old and didn't have much energy. She would sit out the front of the store and welcome strangers, encouraging them to stop on the dry, dusty road, for a drink. She loved to hear their stories.
One day a young man came in and asked the woman 'I'm heading to Castlemaine, tell me, what are the people like there?.'
'Where have you come from?' she asked
'I've been in Ballarat for 6 months'.
'And how did you find the people there?' she asked.
'Well they were the most unfriendly people I've ever met. They were rude and mean spirited, I didn't like them at all.'
'Well' she said 'I'm afraid you will probably find the people of Castlemaine are the same.'
'That is very disappointing.' said the man and stumped off.
The next day another young man came by, also heading to Castlemaine and asked the old woman the same question. She again asked him where he came from and what the people were like there.
'I've been in Ballarat for 6 months and the people there are the kindest, friendliest people you'd ever want to meet. They go out of their way to be helpful.' was his reply
'Well' said the old women, 'I think you'll find the people in Castlemaine are the same.'
'That is wonderful news' and he skipped off down the road.