IN the cold mountainous regions of north India, travellers are helped to keep warm in a special way. They take a small earthenware pot, put a burning coal into it and cover it up. They weave strings around it and wrapping it with cloth, carry it under their arms.
Three men were travelling that way toward a sacred shrine. When they stopped for a rest, one of the travellers saw that some other people were cold, so he took the fire out of his little vessel and lit a fire so they could all get warm. In that way, he saved them freezing to death in the cold.
When they wanted to walk on, it was already dark. So the second man took the fire out of his pot and lighted a torch with it and helped all three of them to walk in safety.
The third member of the group laughed at them and said, “You are a bunch of fools. You have wasted your fire for the sake of others.”
So they said to him, “Show us your fire.”
When he opened his vessel, there was no fire, but only ashes and embers.
With his fire, one of the travellers had given warmth and another had given light. But the third man who kept his fire for himself found that his fire had gone out. Now he had none at all.
— Tony Castle
- Unselfishness, Intensity, and Winning (melgru23.wordpress.com)
- “To Serve and Not To Be Served” (chosenvessel26.wordpress.com)