Perseverance Pays

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I Principles of Life

Waking up in the morning to the noisy chirrup of the birds, a man noticed a broken egg lying on the ground. It had obviously fallen from a nest built by sparrows just under the ceiling of his modest dwelling. Wearily he removed the broken egg, then, noting with dis­gust the straws which were eternally littering his floor, he stood up on a piece of furniture, and swiped the nest out of its niche. He spent quite some time and effort cleaning up the whole place.  

Next day, he found more straws littered around his cleaned floor and, staring up, he saw that once again, the birds were building their nest under his roof. He felt as if he was losing his mind with their chirruping and the perpetual mess; so, he destroyed the new nest before it was even half-way complete. That way, he thought, he could drive them away forever.

But the tragedy of their devastated home spurred the birds on to greater efforts, and showing great daring, they worked faster than ever. They did not waste a single moment on lamenting their loss. Nor did they go away to collect a whole flock of birds to make a united attack on the house owner. They simply flew to and from the home, quietly and incessantly picking up fresh straws and fixing them in position. They did not waste a single moment.

This same action was repeated every day for over a month. The house-owner would angrily destroy their home and moments later the birds would reappear with straws in their beaks to begin their labour all over again. Their efforts seemed fruitless. Their incessant gathering of straws was apparently futile. But regard­less of consequences, they went on steadily with their work. It was the birds’ answer to the unmitigated hatred of the man. Although he was the stronger of the two parties, they always seemed somehow to foil him. And, finally their silent endeavours gained the upper hand. The man realized that his resistance was futile, and he stopped destroying the nests. They completed their nest and successfully laid and hatched their eggs. Their chirruping no longer incenses the man. He simply ceased to be annoyed by them, for they have taught him a price­less lesson–never hate your enemy. In all circumstances, persevere steadfastly in constructive activities. In the end you will emerge victorious.