A Sufi Tale on the Benefits of Turning a Deaf Ear to Words of Discouragement
A group of frogs were travelling through the woods, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around and when they saw how deep the pit was, the frogs told their two unfortunate companions that it was hopeless and that they would never get out. Ignoring their comments and unwilling to accept this terrible fate, the two tried to jump up out of the pit.
The other frogs continued to shout into the pit that it was hopeless, and that they were as good as dead. Finally, having grown spent and weary, one of the frogs took heed to their calls. He quietly accepted his fate, laid down at the bottom of the pit and died as the others looked on in helpless grief.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to simply accept his fate. Nevertheless, the frog jumped even harder and finally, wonder of wonders, leapt so high that he sprang from the pit.
When he got out, the other frogs asked him, "Why did you continue jumping? Didn't you hear us?"
Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained that he was deaf. He thought they were cheering him on the entire time. Thus, what he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.
It is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go a long way. Anyone can speak negative words to rob another of the spirit to persevere in difficult times.
Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.