This is an entirely fictitious story. A ship was moving at night. There was thick fog all around and visibility was very poor. The ship lost its course and moved eastwards. The captain and the crew were vigilant and very alert as they were off course. Suddenly they saw a light at a distance. They watched it carefully and were alarmed as it was proceeding directly towards them. The captain was sure that it was another ship that had lost its course in the heavy fog.
They sent a stern message to the other ship that was apparently approaching them rapidly, “Divert your course twenty five degrees to the North immediately or you will hit us.” The reply was quick and sharp. “We cannot change our course. You must turn through twenty five degrees to the South immediately.” The Captain was furious. He shouted angrily, “This is the captain warning you. Change your course to the North. Avoid a collision.”
The reply was frantic, “There is no way, Captain. This is a light house. Turn to South and save yourselves.” The Captain realised the danger and the gravity of the situation. He put away his ego and promptly turned the ship away from the shore in time and averted a major accident by his timely action.
We behave like the captain when we insist that others should change their course to suit our convenience. The situation may become explosive due to the stubbornness of the persons involved. Often a solution to a conflict is easy if one is ready to sacrifice his egotism.
Dale Carnegie, in his famous book entitled ‘How to win friends and influence people’ says that no one wins in an argument and that the best way to win an argument is to avoid it. A slight flexibility in our behaviour may help to avert serious arguments in life, especially in family life.
Let us remember that ‘ANGER’ is only one letter short of ‘DANGER’. Robert Green Ingersoll said, “Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.” Benjamin Franklin said, “Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”
Lord Buddha taught, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burnt.”
Let us avoid angry arguments with others which increase the distance between the hearts, sometimes to such a great extent that a return to the former state of friendship becomes difficult or impossible.
© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally, Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India.
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