Saturday, May 2, 2015

ARROGANCE AND ARGUMENTS


                       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.
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© 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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This is Story No. 226 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme. 


Friday, May 1, 2015

THE PRAYING HANDS



               Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) was a renowned artist, engraver and painter who lived in Nuremberg in Germany. His famous works include ‘St. Sebastian at the Column’, ‘Young Hare’ and ‘The Praying Hands.’ There is a very popular story behind the creation of ‘The Praying Hands’.
              Albrecht Durer worked with his close friend, Franz Knigstein in Nuremberg. They aspired deeply to study the art of painting. But being very poor they had to work hard and could not find time or money to fulfil their cherished dreams. Finally they found a solution to their problem. They decided that one of them should work and earn money to support both of them while the other would study. When he becomes a rich and successful artist, he would in turn support his friend to pursue his studies. They tossed a coin and Albrecht won. He went to study in the famous art schools in European cities while his friend, Franz Knigstein started manual work to support them. He had to toil hard in a blacksmith’s workshop for several years.
              When Albrecht returned after completing his studies, he was shocked to find that his friend’s sensitive fingers had become bruised, calloused, deformed, gnarled, stiffened and twisted by years of hard manual labour.  Kingstein’s fingers were now unfit to perform the delicate brush strokes necessary for fine painting. But Kingstein was not worried or depressed. He rejoiced sincerely at his friend’s success in his career. One day Albrecht Durer witnessed with great grief, his friend praying with his folded hands. As a mark of gratitude and affection, he painted his friend’s ruined hands, displaying the gnarled fingers, worn and torn with toil, intertwined in prayer, displaying the wrinkles and other signs of hard manual labour.
              The painting displayed the silent and selfless sacrifice of a true friend who was loving and loyal and was ready to suffer for the benefit of his loving friend. This famous painting is thus an eloquent memento of lofty love, brotherhood, friendship, gratitude and sacrifice.
              The Holy Bible teaches, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” Jesus Christ taught, “My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them”



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© 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. 
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students kindly visit our web-site:

This is Story No. 225 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

THE LARGER LOSS


                 A man had two young children. When the elder boy was at School, he gave a toffee to the younger son who was at home. But when he was about to eat it, his elder brother returned from school. He snatched the toffee from his younger brother, put it in his mouth and ran away. The younger brother burst into tears and rushed to his room. He locked the room from inside and fell on his bed, weeping profusely, worrying about the lost toffee. After a while, his father learned about the incident and came to the younger child’s room, carrying a bottle full of toffees which he had kept secretly in his safe. He knocked at the door and asked his child to open the door. He even announced that he had brought a lot of toffees for him. But the child refused to listen to his father. He lay on the bed, paying a deaf ear to his father’s knock and talk. He continued to cry, worrying about his minor loss. His worry prevented him from gaining a much greater joy.
                  A famous painting portrays God knocking at a ‘door without a handle’. The door represents the mind of man which has to be opened from inside in response to the knocking from the outside. God does not open the door of our mind by force. This message teaches us that God is knocking at the door of our heart, awaiting our invitation to enter and be with us, to console us and shower His infinite blessings upon us. It is said that though God is omnipotent and omnipresent, the human mind is a special place where He enters only with our consent. He has granted us the freedom to frame our attitude to Him.
                 We may waste a lot of time, energy and opportunities worrying about the minor losses that have happened in our lives and cursing the persons, who were, in our view, responsible for our losses. But by this foolish action, we are actually shutting the door of our heart against the merciful God and refusing to receive greater gifts of grace from our loving Lord.  We must accept moments of pain and apparent losses we may encounter in our life as parts of God’s plan for our ultimate victory and prosperity.
                 Let us open the doors of our heart and greet our loving God with pleasure. Let us seek His blessings and request Him to purify our heads, hearts, hands and habits.


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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( 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, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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This is Story No. 224 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A SHOWER OF FLESH


                 A young man was riding his bicycle along a road in an Indian village, early in the morning. A speeding car hit the cycle and there was a shower of pieces of fresh flesh all around. The cycle fell into a bushy ditch by the side of the road. People rushed to the scene of the accident. Everyone was moved by the gravity of the accident. The driver stopped his car and was speechless as the helpless victim appeared to have been reduced to a heap of bleeding flesh. Women cried aloud. Someone called the police and their vehicle reached the scene.
                 Suddenly a policeman observed that the bicycle in the ditch was moving upwards slowly. He reached the spot and was surprised to see a person trying to push the bicycle up from the ditch. A young man came out of the ditch and was identified as the person who worked in the hotel nearby. On questioning, he told that he was the cyclist who was hit by the car and flung into the ditch along with his bicycle. He had only minor injuries. The people were confused about the origin of the scattered pieces of flesh.
                 The cyclist replied, “That was from the basket that was strapped to the carrier of my bicycle. It contained pieces of meat which I was carrying to the hotel from the slaughterhouse.”  The basket was obviously shattered by the crash and the pieces of meat spread as a shower and were scattered all around, frightening everyone.
                 A moment of misunderstanding or misinterpretation may be very disastrous and may lead to erroneous or dangerous conclusions. Appearances can be deceptive.              
                 It is wrong to draw conclusions until we know all the facts. His Grace the Most Rev. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan and former Head of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, once remarked humorously, “Three unmarried girls are responsible for most of the troubles in the world. These miscreants are: Misunderstanding, Misinterpretation and Misrepresentation.” Because these three words start with ‘Mis’, they were described humorously by the Metropolitan as ‘Miss’ troublemakers.
                 Prejudice, discrimination, racism and judgement by external appearances have plagued humanity for centuries. Such biased judgements do not reflect truth or reality. God does not show partiality or favouritism. God judges everyone by the same standard. God expects us to behave like Him. We must use intelligent interpretations and just judgement to arrive at sensible conclusions and wise decisions.

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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( 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, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students kindly visit our web-site:

This is Story No. 223 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.