Who can Jump the Highest?
The young man who features in most of these stories had quite a colourful life. As a scholar he always enjoyed competing with others in feats of courage and daring, as well as in his academic studies. One day he and his friends were seeing who could jump the highest. One friend became very angry because everyone else had beaten him and he liked to think that he was the best. He began to lash out and hit our young man, saying that he had cheated and that he wanted to fight him to prove that he was indeed the best, the strongest and yes, that he could jump the highest too! Our young man was very surprised at this outburst, but agreed to meet the other after the studies were over later in the day.
Just as the two youngsters had begun their scrap the teacher appeared.
‘What is this?” he said, “Do I see you, Ramesh Guptananda, fighting again? What is it about this time?’
The boys stopped shamefacedly and explained the argument to the teacher. The wise old man laughed and said:
“People try to prove all sorts of things with violence. They try to prove that they are more gifted, stronger, cleverer. They try to prove that they have more rights to land, or possessions, or women, but I have never heard of fighting to prove that someone can jump higher than another person! Now, boys, there is always a better way to show the truth than to resort to fisticuffs. Violence is never the answer. It diminishes the perpetrator rather than proving him the deserving victor. Please do not resort to it again! I would like you to come to my room together tomorrow morning to tell me how you are going to resolve this argument in a civilized manner.”
Some questions to ask yourself.
- In what ways may violence affect the victim?
- How might a violent person feel about himself?
- What sort of world would we have if everyone were nonviolent?
- What sort of world would we have if everyone used violence to solve problems?