Saturday, 14 July 2012

Feathers In the Wind

This is an old folk-tale, attributed to various people. I love it because of the message. As a first hand sufferer in the hands of gossip-mongers, and having seen others suffer as well, I have often wished that people be taught this is schools, rather than calculus. If only it were so easy.

Once there was a foolish woman in a small village, who went about spreading gossip about another
woman. Before long the foolish woman began to feel remorse about what she had
done, so she went to the wise man of the village to ask him what she could do to make things

The wise man listened carefully to her story, thought for a moment, and then told her to
go to the market and buy a chicken. On the way home from the market she was to pluck that
chicken letting the feathers fall along the path. The next day she was to come back and see the
wise man again.

The woman did as the wise man suggested. She bought a chicken and plucked it on the
way home. When she came to him the next day she told him that she had done what he asked
her to do.
The wise man said to her, “Now, I want you to go home today by the same road you
took yesterday, and pick up every single feather you dropped along the path.” The woman was
distraught, and protested that there was absolutely no way she could find and pick up all those
feathers. The wind would have surely blown them everywhere!

The wise man quietly responded, “You are correct...and you see, just as you can never retrieve
all those feathers, there is no way you can ever restore the reputation of the people whom you
harmed with your words.”

The woman was ordinary, and so was the offence, but the remorse is much less so.
The next time you say something about someone that you do not know for yourself to be hundred per cent correct, hold yourself for a second, and remember.


  1. the story I read at school was the same but just a little different


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