“There was the lady who never bought bread from the bakeries. She baked her own bread and she would leave one of them on the window sill, just in case anyone was hungry and needed a bread to eat. She noticed that the bread always disappeared and she would hear someone saying, “Evil stays with you. Good always come back to you.”
The person who was taking the bread and uttering those words was a humpback or hunchback man. Whenever she would place the bread on the sill, and he came to pick it up, he would utter the words, “Evil stays with you. Good comes back to you.” For the love of her life she could not fathom what he meant by those remarks which greatly annoyed her.
She considered the man to be depraved and ungrateful. He would not even knock on the door and say thanks. Always, “Evil stays with you. Good comes back to you”. Annoyed at these utterances, she decided not to cease from placing the bread on the window sill, but to continue the practice by placing some poison in the bread. Too ungrateful and always muttering foolishness she declared as she placed the poison in the bread.
When she finished placing the poison in the bread, she left it in the usual place, but something kept nagging her that her actions are wrong. My granny would call that nagging voice your conscience, which is the voice of God. That inner man, propelling you to do right and protecting you from all harm and ill; that inner voice kept nagging at her and forced her to withdraw the poisoned bread and replace it with a good bread. The humpbacked man came, collected his bread and uttered the same words, “Evil stays with you. Good always come back to you.”
Now, this lady had a son, whom she had not seen for many years. She tried tirelessly to locate his whereabouts, but without success. Some hours after the humpback man had fetched his bread, she heard a knock on the door. Upon opening it, she beheld her long lost son, standing there, looking frail and sick. She embraced him and invited him inside.
You see, dear reader, the son had fallen on hard times and did not look like the son she envisaged in her mind whenever they happen to meet each other after such a long absence. But, however, he looked or appeared, he was her son, the only child and she had not seen or heard from him in donkey years, (for a very long time). The son seated by now and with something to drink and eat, related to her how he almost did not make it to her door.
He said, “Mom, when I was about a mile away from your house, I fainted from hunger. A hunchback man passed by and shook me and gave me a piece of bread to eat. He then told me to have the whole bread, for every day he gets one to eat for his lunch.” When the lady heard that, she wept uncontrollably and bitterly, for, she now realized that if she had not changed the poison bread, it would have been her son who would have devoured it. She suddenly heard the mutterings of the hunched back man when he came to collect his daily bread. “Evil stays with you. Good comes back to you.”
How many of us would be touched by this story which carries a powerful message to us? The message that this story carries:
• That we must not grow weary in doing good. If we perform acts of goodness from our hearts and people do not appreciate our efforts, continue to do our good deeds. The Master will reward us.
• We must never detour from performing our Good Samaritan deeds and descend into the animal kingdom within us. We must endeavour at all times to ascend to the Godly Spirit which resides within us and shower our brothers and sisters with love.
If you profess to love God, it is only automatic for you to love your fellowmen in whom you must see the image of God. All men were created in his likeness.
The story tells us that when we perform good deeds, goodness must return to us. If the good lady had acceded to her temptation to poison the bread, you see the far reaching consequences which would have followed? She would have poisoned her only son and child whom she had not seen in ages. The hunch back would have been spared. It was the Good Samaritan efforts of her which caused her prayers to be answered. Goodness begets goodness. Evil begets evil-the law of life, the law of Cause and Effect.
Granny’s saying, ‘if you spit up in the air it falls back into your face’. You can’t sow corn and reap potato. You reap just what you sow.
When I was a boy attending the Basseterre Boys School, the school owned a vegetable garden in Warner Park, where the Len Harris Cricket Academy is presently situated. Teachers would take their class to the garden, where we would dig up the weeds and be taught about the dispersal of seeds.
We were taught that seeds are dispersed by the wind, by birds, by animals, and by human beings from one place to the next. The only means of transporting or dispersing seeds for goodness, kindness, tolerance and compassion, from one person to the next, or from one place to the next is by human beings. But we fail miserably to do so. Instead of dispersing the above named positive seeds, in order to make our country more peaceful and glorious, we prefer to disperse seeds of doom and gloom, narrow-mindedness, hatred, malice, spite, confusion, and hopelessness.
Isn’t it a fact dear reader that weeds grow more flourishing than the plants we nurture for our own benefit? This is truly a fact. If you do not pull up the weeds, they would choke off the lifeline of the plants we need to grow. So if we persist in dispersing seeds of hatred over the airwaves, every day; if we practice hatred against each other, on a daily basis; if there is more hatred and confusion inside the house of God; if we are so sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit, to the point where we can speak in tongues, yet hateth our brother because of his politics, are we not dispersing the seeds of weeds instead seeds of plants to sustain and nourish our bodies? Are we not choking off the lifeline of our young and promising youths who are our future leaders, teachers, etc., etc.?
We are stifling them with our negativity. Why should a young man hate another young man to the extent that he cannot settle a minor dispute peaceably, but has to run for a gun to snuff out the life of his young brother? Why?
Isn’t it because of our dispersing negative seeds of hatred over the airwaves? Do we listen to ourselves when we are belching out, spitting out, vomiting out, screaming out, and these weeds of hatred? What is happening today is that these weeds have now found fertile soil, in the unprepared minds of our youths, in the immaturity of their development and in the polluting environment of our communities and societies. We are choking off the future of our young people and when these young people are charged with these heinous crimes, we all should be charged as well.
Evil will always remain with us because of our evil thoughts, but if we show or we disperse the positive seeds of ‘love and hope’ and self-respect and tolerance and compassion, our federation would become a land of beauty where peace and love, caringness and hope flow down from the mountain sides. When will we end this assault on our young men? When will we end this brutal and frontal attack on our future generation?
When are we going to climb to the high plane of goodness and Godliness, instead of the animal kingdom within us, where the seeds of anger and revenge and avenge thrive in abundance? When are we going to look for the best in others and smile when they make mistakes? To count them as friends and brothers would show we have what it takes to master the art of loving.
Find peace in place of strife, or this is the best gift of giving and is surely the joy of life. We are surely poisoning the bread we are giving to our youngsters, with our expressions of hatred every day. Do we know, if when we give them that poisoned loaf they would pass it on to one of our families? Let us withdraw the poisoned bread from off the window sill and replace it with the bread of love.
Evil always remain with us, but good attracts good. Let us therefore love one another, for love is of God and love will certainly and definitely attract love.