Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Little Nail



This is a poplar story I read somewhere. It has a marvelous lesson for us all. It can help the desolate to boost back to life. The desperate may find a meaning for their existence. The downtrodden may reshape their life to change the destiny.

The story goes like this.
This is an old story about a desolate nail.
The beautiful church was built on the banks of a river which was famous for its blue waters and musical waves. There was a cold breeze around the spikes of the church.
It was an architectural wonder. Its beauty could never be narrated. So people from far and wide came to see the church. All who looked at the church praised its beauty, architect, spikes, walls, artifices, paintings etc.
There was a little nail up on the roof which held the shingles together. It was the wisdom of the architect to use a little nail for such an important task. But the nail never understood its own important position in the construction.
Since it was on the roof top, no one could see it from the below ground. Architects usually do not project nails to the notice of the people.
All people came to see the church praised many parts of the church, but none ever said any word about the little nail. This created a feeling of rejection in his little mind. It grew as more visitors came and neglected him. He felt desolate and desperate. Out of sheer rejection that he could longer bear, he felt worthless and decided to let the hold of shingles. If he is such worthless, why held on the shingles and remains on the top of the church. Nobody is going to miss him. His absence will make no difference to the world.
He unscrewed himself, rolled down over the shingles and fell into a muddy patch of ground.
For a few days, nothing happened. No one missed him. His absence made no change to the world.
One day after a week, it rained heavily. Rain poured down like a cataract. Wind blew angrily at the church. The music of the waves in the river stopped. The cold breeze disappeared. None came to see the church during those days.
Soon the shingles that had no nail holding it in place blew away with the wind. Roof leaked and rain rushed into the church. Water streaked the walls and disfigured the all the beautiful murals in the church. The plaster of the wall fell off. Rain water soaked the carpet. Pulpit was damaged.
All these happened because the nail decided to quit its space.
The nail was not aware of all these incidents. It felt that failure after failure is haunting him. He lay trembled and frustrated in the muddy patch. As water poured down, it quivered and fainted. Death was the only comfort to him. It lay there, waiting to rust and rust and finally be nothing.

The moral of the story is built around a simple question: Was the nail right?
We all may shout a big “No”. Why? Is it because we need a nail to keep the shingles of the church?

The nail might be leading an obscure life. None might have praised his service. But his life was not meaningless or purposeless.
Every dog has an office. Every nail has a place. Every person has a role in this world.
We may be leading an obscure life, appreciated by none and recognized by none. But everyone has a role to play on this world’s stage. No one else can play our role; none can substitute us. Without us, our role will be left undone. It will surely create a difference in the story.
So we are really important.

But what of the nail?
While holding the shingle, it was obscure, but it was also very useful.  Though it was not aware, it was leading a purposeful life fulfilling it with all his might. Now it lay buried in the mud. There too it was just as obscure. It has lost its purpose. It has become a real failure, a defeat. It would soon be eaten up by rust.

Leaving our space in life is quitting the purpose of life. It is the only failure. Though none recognize us, we are fulfilling the purpose. We are part of the world history.

So play your role well!

 Professor Jacob Abraham

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