Wednesday, March 20, 2013


                                A king had a beautiful and intelligent princess as his only child. When she grew up, he announced that she would be married to a prince who proves his wisdom in a test to be held in his palace. On the appointed day, a large number of princes from different kingdoms reached the palace, hoping to marry the princess and become the heir to the throne.
                                The princes assembled in the royal hall and introduced themselves. Suddenly the whole place was filled with the melodious music of a bird. The king led the princes to a neighbouring hall where the singing bird was kept. Two cages were hung from the roof at one end of the hall. The princes watched the birds from the other end of the hall. After a while, the music stopped. The king led the princes to the cages and showed them the birds. One was a very beautiful and multi-coloured parrot with fine feathers and attractive features. The other was a small grey nightingale with brownish feathers and no apparent beauty. The princes were then led to the court and asked the same question, "Which of the two birds had sung the sweet song?"
                                All the princes except one emphatically replied that the pretty parrot was the gifted singer who filled the place with the enchanting music. Only one had a different answer. That prince affirmed that the song was sung by the nightingale. This prince who correctly identified the singer without bias and prejudice was declared as the winner. Others were influenced and misled by the extraordinary beauty of the colourful parrot. They assumed that a sweet voice could arise only from a pretty bird. The wise prince married the princess and after the king's death, ruled the country successfully. During his rule everyone had equal rights and opportunities and his period was recorded in history as a golden age of peace and prosperity.
                                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. We must use intelligent interpretations and just judgement to arrive at sensible conclusions and wise decisions. We must not treat people in different ways according to their outward appearances. Appearances can be deceptive.

       © By Prof. 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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