Tuesday, February 19, 2013


                                     Aesop lived as a slave and servant of Xanthus, a philosopher. One day, Xanthus planned to host a dinner for his friends. He ordered Aesop to prepare a dinner using the best food material available in the market. When Xanthus was ready for the dinner with his friends, Aesop served several dishes made from the tongue of an animal. The dishes were prepared in different ways and served with appropriate sauces. The angry Xanthus sought an explanation. Aesop replied that the tongue was the best organ as it is the organ for expressing eloquence, gratitude, kindness, love, praise, sociability, sympathy, truth, and worship. 
                             The next day, Xanthus asked Aesop to prepare a meal using the worst material available in the market. This time also, Aesop made different dishes using the tongue. The angry Xanthus questioned Aesop. Aesop explained that the tongue was also the worst material, as it was the organ used for blasphemy, conflict, cursing, defamation, fraud, gossip, injustice, lying and treason. The philosopher learned a great lesson of life from his servant. The tongue is the best and worst organ of the human body. Its value is dependent on the manner of its use.

                             This truth is exemplified in the Bible: "Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! And the tongue is like a fire....We use it to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse our fellow-man, who is created in the likeness of God. Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth." 

                             What we say can preserve life or destroy it. 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 meaningful and persuasive. 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 tongue should speak only the truth. When words are manipulated to get our own way, even deviating from truth and righteousness, we go wrong. Telling a lie is a coward's way of trying to get out of trouble.

© 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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