I received the following lovely moral tale in an e-mail; so have no idea who wrote it.
“Two travelling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, 'Things aren't always what they seem.'
The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole
income, lay dead in the field.
The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.’ Things aren't always what they seem, the older angel replied. When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it.'
Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem!”
Where do you see yourself in this story? Are you the wealthy people, obsessed only with getting more wealth, and barely tolerate others.
Are you the poor farmers, happy with what you have and happy to share even that with others in more need?
Are you like the older angle, and see all and keep your own counsel? Are you like the younger angle? Only seeing a little, but prepared to pronounce that to one and all without checking the facts?
Or? Or are you a combination of the poor farmers, the older and the younger angles? Yes! Are you prepared to keep your own counsel until you have all the facts and then share both your knowledge and your wealth and possessions where needed?
Try not to keep people in the dark more than necessary and thus avoiding others going off half cocked, but also try not to be too intrusive either and poke your nose in where it is not wanted. Again, always, before you speak, make sure you have all the information you can get!
For: Things aren't always what they seem!”