When God Was Disappointed
( a story from the Arab land)
Long ago two beggars lived in the city of Medina. One named Kamal was blind and the other, Jamal, was lame.
They worked as a team for the blind carried the lame on his shoulders. The city being small in those days, the two earned a meager living even by working for long hours.
Most days they returned home with enough to buy the necessities, but sometimes their earnings were too small. On such days they tended to bicker and quarrel. Kamal would blame his companion for stealing and Jamal complained that they moved too slowly because of Kamal's laziness. They would argue till sleep gripped both. But indeed, carrying a grown man on his shoulders all day was not easy for Kamal even after years of practice. So, sometimes, even a minor criticism by Jamal made him flare up and use harsh words.
A blind man carrying a lame one on his shoulders is not a common sight. It provoked some spectators to taunt or cut jokes. One day a stranger remarked, "What is the difference between a donkey and a blind man?" Then he answered his own question by saying, "One carries diverse loads while the blind man carries a lame man on his shoulders." Hearing this some people chuckled. Unable to control himself Jamal too, burst into laughter. Kamal was livid with rage. He thought, 'this Jamal whom I carry all day is calling me a donkey. Who does he think he is?' The stranger's comment had hurt him but Jamal's laughter was unbearable.
Kamal turned around and started walking home. On arrival he dumped Jamal on the ground with a thud. Not expecting such behavior, Jamal was unprepared. He fell on his face and got badly injured. By chance a bamboo pole was lying nearby. He picked it up and hit Kamal on his head. His scalp was cut and blood began to flow. A flood of accusations ensued. Each partner swore at the other to hurt. This went on till both were exhausted. Next day they were unable to go to work and lay in bed hurting, cursing, and feeling miserable
God was, of course, watching from on high. Filled with pity, He decided to help. Appearing before the beggars he told them who he was, and also why he had come. He turned first to Kamal and said, "To help you, I grant you a boon. You may ask for anything you wish and it will be given." Kamal was still seething with anger. Without taking even a minute to think, he said, "Jamal is an evil man. Take away his eyes. That will make me happy."
God was stunned for he had not anticipated such a response. But before doing anything further he decided also to ask Jamal. He too was burning with rage. He said, "The boon I ask for is that you take away both of Kamal's legs."
God was puzzled for he did not know what he should do. Having granted the boons he was duty bound to give what the two men had asked for, but he felt bad to deliver misery when he had come to relieve it.
On returning to heaven God thought: 'what has gone wrong? Humans are the most intelligent of all the animals I have created and see how low they have fallen. Tomorrow they may fight big wars with nuclear weapons. They may even start playing with the genome. Still worse, they may even want to kill me and take over my powers. They will make a terrible mess, and soon destroy themselves. I must do something to prevent it. Otherwise I will have a massive cleanup job on my hands."
No wonder our population is growing at an alarming rate, the globe is over warming, there is perpetual violence within and between nations, earthquakes have become more frequent, cyclones are more powerful, and there are myriad other upheavals in sight as well as over the horizon. Could these be God's warning signals?
August 5, 2006