Tuesday, February 12, 2013


               Two little frogs were playing joyfully in a marshy land. They hopped and leaped but slipped and fell into a deep pit. They yelled for help and jumped again and again to get out of the pit. But they failed every time. Hearing their scream, several frogs assembled and looked into the pit.  They watched the futile attempts of the fallen frogs to escape from the pit. Seeing the depth of the pit and losing all hope, they told the frogs in the pit that it was meaningless to go on jumping and wasting their energy as it was impossible to escape. They said that the best option was to stop jumping and remain in the pit awaiting their fate. Some senior frogs looked at the sky and found some dark clouds. They suggested that the fallen frogs may wait in the pit for a probable rain which may fill the pit with water and make their escape possible. They warned that they should be ready to meet their fate if the rain is late.
               Hearing these discouraging comments from the elders, one frog became depressed. He lost all hope and gave up without any more attempt. Accepting failure, he lay down at the bottom of the pit, completely exhausted and awaiting his fate in bitter silence.
               The other frog continued his attempt by jumping repeatedly with full confidence and increasing vigour, in spite of the adverse comments from the seniors. He reached higher and higher with every attempt and finally jumped out of the pit successfully. He was greeted with great applause. The frogs asked him why he tried to jump repeatedly ignoring their discouraging words and warnings. He told them, " My ears are very weak and so I could not understand what you shouted from above. I thought you were applauding my attempts and were encouraging me to continue jumping. Your sounds and gestures boosted my confidence and so I could succeed at the end. Thank you very much." By his inherent deafness he mistook their adverse advice as appreciation and applause. That led to his success.
              An encouraging word has magical powers. It can work wonders. But a discouraging comment may lead to destruction of initiative and a final failure.
              Let us encourage and strengthen each other.
              The Book of Proverbs in the Bible teaches, "Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal."  "Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive."
© By Dr. Babu Philip, 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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