Hidden blessings in harsh words

It isn’t an uncommon phenomenon to see many of us getting rattled when being harshly reprimanded; even if it’s by a well-wisher, like our parent, a relative or friend. We simply abhor the admonishments, albeit well-meaning rebukes, maybe for our own well-being.

I am reminded of an apocryphal story. It seems a wily-minded village head would always terrorise and traumatise the folks of his village. He’d be making the penury-stricken people to pawn their propeties with him, which he’d usurp later on by his nefarious ploys.

Ironically, he’d be oblivious to the fact that his days were numbered. So, on one fine day, the God of Death, Lord Yama, appears before him with his lasso, to lug behind his soul. On seeing him, the village head implores mercy, as he wishes to live longer. To this, the Lord says, he is the most cursed and loathed person in village and that he hasn’t earned any good wishes from anyone that could save his life.

The village head, after much pondering, asks whether his life would be spared if he shows someone equally loathed, to which the Lord agrees. Soon after, both set off scouting for such a person. At this juncture, they behold a mother hollering at her child saying, “You are turning more and more obdurate and cranky. I wish you be taken away by Lord Yama.” Hearing this, the village head’s face illuminates with joy. He exhorts the Lord to take the young life instead, as the child is loathed by its own mother. To this the Lord says, “The mother doesn’t mean what she is saying, for, in reality, she loves the child more than her own life.”

Feeling disillusioned, when the village head tries looking for a more suitable candidate, he sees a scrawny woman, sprung into severe spat with her spouse. She’d be saying, “You are squandering all your time, by getting drunk and doing nothing significant. I wish your life be taken away by Lord Yama.” Seeing this, the village head expectantly looks at the Lord again. To this, the Lord says, “Here too, the vitriolic invectives are only superficial.

Since, being irked by her husband’s indolence, under the influence of ire, the indignant words are just ejected out.” At that time, an old woman, on seeing the village head, spews a slew of curses, saying, “You have swindled us, seizing all our property unscrupulously. May your worthless life be taken away by the Lord.” Hearing this, instantly the Lord flings his lasso around the village head’s neck and drags him away.

Well, one of the things we learn from this story is that the seemingly harsh words of loved ones aren’t to be taken seriously. For, there may be copious best wishes hidden beneath the cloak of those negative strokes, which might subtly proffer the positive stimulus in promoting our overall personality growth.

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