Friday, 12 December 2008

A short story: A tailor and his needle

I'd like to share an old short story with you.

A tailor was at work. He took a piece of cloth and with a pair of shining, costly scissors, he cut the cloth into various bits. Then he put the pair of scissors at his feet.

Next, he took a small needle and thread and started to sew the bits of cloth into a fine shirt. When the spell of sewing was over, he stuck the needle on to his turban.

The tailor's son, who was watching him, asked: "Father, the scissors are costly and look so beautiful but you throw them down at your feet. This needle is worth almost nothing. You can get a dozen for an Anna (*) and yet, you place it carefully on your head. Is there any reason for this illogical behaviour?"

"Yes, my son," the tailor replied. "The scissors have their function, no doubt, but they only cut the cloth into bits. The needle, on the contrary, unites the bits and enhances the value of the cloth. Therefore, the needle to me is more precious and valuable. The value of a thing depends on its utility, son, not on its cost price or appearance."

Similarly, there are two classes of people in the world: those who create dissensions and disharmony and who separate man from man, and those who bring about peace and harmony and who unite people.

[* An Anna is an old monetary unit used in Burma, India and Pakistan. It's worth about 1/16th of a modern Indian rupee.]

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