By Lin Lan
There is an owl named Dada in a forest. After delivering five cute babies, Dada decides to find a bigger hole for her babies to grow healthy and happy. At last, she singles out a large tree deep in the forest.
Dada’s friend Benben suggests to her that she should not make her new home there, for a male fox lives under the tree. In the forest, it is very dangerous to be a fox’s neighbor. However, Dada brushes it aside. She believes the activities of the fox can only be under the tree though he is scary. Since she and her cubs live at the top of the tree, there will be no danger. So, Dada does not take Benben’s advice.
Then, Benben says, “If you must move to the tree, you’d better choose the hole on the right as your new home, because it is farther from the fox’s house and more concealed. Living there will be safer for your babies.” But Dada denies Benben’s suggestion again. She thinks the hole on the left is sunny and spacious, so why should she reject the good and choose the worse? In the end, Dada moves into the hole on the left alongside her babies.
One stormy night, Dada does not return after foraging for food long outside. The young who wait anxiously poke their heads out and look around in search of their mother, none of them noticing the slobbering fox under the tree. Suddenly, there is a wind. The small cubs are blown out of the hole and fall right before the fox, only to see the cruel glitter in his eyes …
It is conceivable that when Dada returns to find that her babies have become the fox’s supper, she must be terribly regretful about her original arrogance and self-righteousness, which contributes to the tragedy followed by her rejection of Benben’s suggestion.
The says: “This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead” (Ecclesiastes 9:3). “Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who deals in proud wrath” (Proverbs 21:24).
In real life, there are many times when we, like Dada, are dominated by our arrogant nature and so brush aside or reject other people’s viewpoints that are at odds with ours. We never consider whether their advice is reasonable, or whether what we insist on is right. If what they put forward is correct, but we cannot let go of our arrogance and vanity and accept it humbly, then in the end we will be the ones who suffer loss.
God says, “For whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11). “What is vital now for you all to do is to learn how to obey that which is right and how to obey that which comes from the truth and that which conforms to the truth; in this way, you are walking and practicing toward being obedient to God. … Through obeying, seeking, praying more, retreating to your spirit and coming before God then, unbeknownst to you, a change will happen in your inner condition.”
God accepts those who can humble themselves and listen to right suggestions. The more one is willing to make himself humble, the more delight God will take in him, and the more people will love and respect him. But the view of corrupt mankind is: To be praised and thought highly of is a glory, but to submit to others is a shame. So, having been corroded by this view, our nature has become exceedingly arrogant and self-conceited. We are self-important, conceited, and overweening, and we don’t like others to have the upper hand. As a matter of fact, listening to right advice with a humble heart isn’t a manifestation of incompetence and ignorance; it is a precondition for making progress.
One’s ability is limited however high it is. Just as the Chinese saying goes, “Many hands make light work,” we can achieve great progress only when we are able to listen to proper suggestions and learn from others’ strong points to offset our own weaknesses.