Unexpected Wisdom from a Bird
A man caught a bird. The bird said to him, “Release me, and I will give you three valuable pieces of advice. I will give you the first when you let me go, the second when I fly up to that branch, and the third when I fly up to the top of the tree.”
The man agreed, and let the bird go.
Now free, the bird said, “Do not torture, torment and burden yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes.”
The bird then flew up to a branch and said,
“Do not believe anything that goes against common sense, unless you have firsthand proof.”
Then the bird flew up to the top of the big tree and said, “You fool. I have two huge jewels inside of me. If you had killed me instead of letting me go, you would have been rich.”
“Darn it!” the man exclaimed. “How could I have been so stupid? I am never going to get over this. Bird, can you at least give me the third piece of advice as a consolation?”
The bird replied, “I was merely testing you. You are asking for further advice, yet you already disregarded the first two pieces of advice I gave you. First, I told you not to torment yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes, and second I told you not to believe things that go against common sense unless there is firsthand proof.
And yet, you just tormented yourself with regret for letting me go, and you also believed that somehow there are two huge jewels inside a tiny bird like me!
So here now is your third piece of advice: “If you are not applying what you already know, why are you so intent on gaining what you do not know?”
~ A Sufi Tale