Thursday, August 10, 2017


             Tony and Teena were recently married couples. They lived in a South Indian village. A month after their wedding, Tony had to go abroad to work in a foreign country. There was no one to stay with Teena. Her close friend, Meena invited her to stay with her. Teena closed their house and moved to her friend’s house in the town. Meena had a small child, who was very fond of Teena. Teena was very affectionate to the child and was eager to look after every need of the child with tender love and care.
             Tony returned to their home after several months. Teena and Tony reopened their house, cleaned it and started to live there. The next day, he went to town and could return only by dusk. When he neared their house, he heard the loud sound of Teena. Obviously, she was on the phone, speaking to someone. Out of curiosity, Tony secretly listened to the words of his wife. He was shocked to hear her words. She was talking very affectionately to someone on the phone and stated that she loved that person more than anything else in this world. She even made the sound of a loving kiss. Tony could not bear this. He believed that she had a secret lover and was sharing intimate moments with him. Furiously, he grabbed a heavy stick and gave an unexpected heavy blow on her head. She gave a loud cry and fell down, fainted. Filled with rage, Tony took the phone and listened silently, hoping to identify the criminal. There was a repeated  enquiry from an excited lady through the phone, “Teena, Teena, what happened to you?”
             Tony asked her, “Who are you?” The caller introduced herself as Meena, the close friend of Teena. She said, “Teena was talking to my child for a long time and I was listening to their intimate talk. Suddenly, Teena made a loud cry and stopped her talk. What happened?”
             Tony was totally upset. He realized that he had foolishly misunderstood his wife and misinterpreted her sweet talk to the innocent infant. He felt extremely sorry for reacting impulsively to Teena’s innocent act of affection and inflicting a serious injury on his dear and loving wife.
             Teena was rushed to the hospital in his car. She had to undergo a major surgery. After weeks of intensive treatment, she recovered and returned to their home, but her hair had to be shaved off prior to the surgery. Her head retained marks of the trauma.  
              A moment of misunderstanding or misinterpretation may be very disastrous and may make a couple forget the millions of memorable moments in their life and lead to erroneous or dangerous conclusions and decisions. 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,  judgement by external appearances and impulsive reactions have plagued humanity for centuries. Such biased judgements do not reflect truth or reality. We must use just judgement and intelligent interpretations to arrive at sensible conclusions and wise decisions.
              When we point one finger at another person, three other fingers on the same hand point towards us. Often we fail to notice our own imperfections when we watch the defects and sins of others. When we are harsh in judging others, we become unable to receive mercy and compassion.
              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 seek God’s blessings and request Him to purify our heads, hearts, hands and habits.
© 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 and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India. 
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