CHENNAI: The north wind and the sun once entered into a heated debate over as to who was more powerful. The north wind claimed that it was more influential, while the sun said it possessed more power. After a few minutes of heated exchanges, they agreed to a contest. All they had to do was to make a man remove his coat. And whoever did that first would be the winner They picked a man who was making his way home on a long trip by foot.
The north wind decided to go first. It blew hard to try to blow the man’s coat off. It huffed and puffed. But the harder it blew, the more intently the man wrapped his coat around himself. The north wind tried for a long time to get the man to take his coat off, but it just didn’t work.
Next, the sun had its turn. It began to send warm, loving rays upon the man. Steadily, the sun beat down its warmth. After a while the man began to feel warm. He unbuttoned his coat. The sun continued to shine on him. Finally, the man felt warm enough and took off his coat.
With a smile, the sun told the north wind, “As you can see, my warm, loving ways made him remove his coat, while your strong, forceful ways caused him to resist.”
This Aesop’s fable teaches a valuable lesson indeed. Love and gentleness always win out over force. Some people feel they can get the best out of others by being forceful, harsh and critical. But hardly does anyone respond to such a treatment. We feel that we have to treat others harshly or forcefully to get them to do anything. Yet, quite the opposite is true. We can be more persuasive, using the power of love and gentleness. People get discouraged when they come in contact with harsh people. They shut down and want to withdraw. But when people are given loving and encouraging words, they want to go out of their way and do more.
Adding the warmth of love only makes things sail more smoothly. Let’s be like the sun and send warm, encouraging words to others. Only then will we find that we can be more effective in whatever we do. Being forceful does not work in the long run.
It is the same with our meditations. When we try to force the results, they seem to elude us more and more. When we sit lovingly and sweetly in meditation, then results come on their own. We should avoid clutching. We should do our work in meditation effortlessly and lovingly and then the grace of god will flow.