Then the sun had its turn. It came out without noise or violence like the northwind. It did not whistle in the treetops nor bluster through the bushes. It did not buffet nor struggle with the man. It just went on pouring forth its heat. And it seemed as if it could never win, any more than the northwind. But soon the traveller took out his handkerchief and wiped the perspiration from his face. Then, before long, he took off his hat. Soon he unbuttoned his coat, and finally he took it off of his own accord. The sun had won the contest against the northwind!
Now, a fable is meant to teach a lesson. The lesson of this fable is that gentleness wins where only strength and rudeness fail. If some one has done you a wrong, the way to deal with him is not to try to “get even” with him, as we say. Nor is the best way to get angry with him and scold him. The Bible tells us that the way to overcome your enemy is to do good for evil, for it says by so doing you will “heap coals of fire upon his head.”
Usually it is the weak people who bluster like the northwind, and storm and brag. Strong people are usually quiet. There is an old saying that “if you are right you can afford to keep your temper, and if you are wrong you cannot afford to lose it.” Be gentle. You will win more that way than by getting angry.
Theodore Parker was one of the greatest preachers America ever had, and this story is told of him as a boy. One day, as he was going across the fields, he came to a pond where he saw a small turtle sunning itself upon a stone which rose out of the water. The boy picked up a stick, and was about to strike the turtle, when a voice within him said, “Stop!” His arm paused in midair and, startled, he ran home to ask his mother what the voice meant. Tears came into his mother’s eyes as she took the boy in her arms and told him that it was his conscience which had cried “Stop!” Then she told him that his conscience was the voice of God, and that his moral safety depended upon his heeding that inner voice.
The same thing is true of all boys and girls. If you obey that inner voice in questions of right and wrong, it will speak to you clearly.
But if you neglect it, it will grow silent, and you will be left in darkness and in doubt as to what is right and wrong.
Some people call this voice the “inner light,” and that is a very good name for it. Every time you walk by the light you put fresh oil in the lamp, and the light grows stronger and the way clearer.
Whenever that inner voice speaks to you and tells you that a thing is wrong, don’t argue with the voice and give reasons for doing the thing that is wrong. Obey the voice at once, as Parker did, and it will save you endless trouble.
A man once found a boy crying on the street, and asked the little chap what he was crying about. The child told him he had just lost a nickel. The stranger gave him another, and then the boy began to cry again. This greatly astonished the man, and he asked him why he was crying again. The little chap said, “Because, if I hadn’t lost that other nickel, I’d have two now.”