Condemned to death

Paulo Coelho

The group went down the street: the soldiers were escorting a man condemned to the gallows.

– That man was no good commented a disciple with Awas-el Salam. – Once I gave him a silver coin to help him to get out of his misery and he did nothing important.

– Perhaps he is no good, but he may now be going to the gallows because of you. Maybe he used the money you gave him to buy a dagger, which he ended up using in the crime committed. In that case, your hands are also bloodied. Instead of trying to support him with love and kindness, you preferred to give him alms and rid yourself of your obligation.

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  1. aditya says:

    we should do the best we can, not merely pay lip serive and a little more to quiten our conscience ! right paul !


  2. Nicole says:

    A wise Master once told me it is not your place to help or heal anyone – unless they give you permission to.
    I read a story once where an enlightened Master came across a magnificent Deer who had fallen very badly and was dying a very slow and painful death. In his capacity to heal, without thinking, he began mending the poor animal. However his healing was not working like it normally does and he detected severe stress in the Deer. Despite all attempts at healing; the Deer was trying to get away from him and stop him. Mindful of his teachings he, sadly, decided to stop ‘helping’ and watched the Deer die. It became immediately evident that the Deer’s death meant an incarnation into a higher realm and the Master’s healing of him would have stopped that incarnation that had been divinely chosen for that precise time.
    This suggests our thoughts, perceptions and judgments of things are therefore mostly inaccurate.

    1. aditya says:

      Even so ! at each moment of time, we are expected to do our best and leave the rest ( as carolena has said ) !

      problem with stories my dear Nicole is that one can not argue with them. If god does not want me to mess around with his scheme of things, i will request HER not to put me in dilemas, if i am, then i will make use of the intellect which also is her gift to me and act accordingly.

      due to some technical glitch i am not able to reply to a reply, hence i am posting here what i wanted to say to irina,

      Could not agree with u more Irina ! help can be extended only when it is asked for. otherwise the situation becomes messier than earlier. personally i too don’t intervene if the person who needs help, refuses it.

      having said that, this is a grey area, specially if the person refusing help is not in the right frame of mind. suppose someone, a friend is hell bent upon jumping a cliff, what should i do, maybe i need to use some violence to prevent that, suppose someone is dead drunk and still insists that s/he will drive home. now all consequences of saving someone’s life or possibly altering someone’s course of life is there, that is not an issue for me, issue is whether to extend unsolicited help, i don’t know, and am keeping an open mind on that, will respond to the situation, without applying any ready made rules ! it’s a grey area.


    2. aditya says:

      Nicole did that enlightned master happen to be Paramhansha Yogananda !

  3. Mirela, I love it how your middle name changes… :)
    Um… I thought you were Catholic, but I guess there isn’t too much of a difference anyway, I believe I understand what you’re saying.

  4. Alexandra says:

    And what about destiny? Is it our fault, or we are sort of puppets at times? I think part of fault is our,but nobody is strong enough if destiny says no, or the design of God is different.

  5. Irina Black says:

    Just to think about boomerang-you will gain what gave.

  6. dhruv says:

    Not logical at all.

    i don agree wid d story.Givin money 2 a needy maybe his way of xpressin love n is a person’s believe in his humanity dat he gives d money 2 him.he doesnt noe dat he will buy a dagger outta d alms.evn i wud hav done d same thing if i c a needy person.
    i agree wid aditya.and i wud say dat a temporary relief(said by miss thelma) cn b a sight of hope 2 sum1.dat temporary relief cn kickstart his lyf dats all vot i believe.

  7. it’s the way I use to feel about the beggars
    in the metro-tunnel.
    It’s not my coins they need, it’s my time and my engagement.
    And I never give even one hour of it. :-(

  8. T.K. says:

    WOW! This story is heartbreaking.

    I agree with Annie. You never know how your words or actions contribute to another person’s decision making process.

    1. Of course this is true, we are influenced Everyday, from everywhere, in society, advertisements, even the ‘celebrity synd’ and also from family and friends. But like Aditya said, one does the best to their capabilities. Is there anything else one can do besides that?

  9. THELMA says:

    Once when my eldest daughter, a lawyer, used to work at a Bank she came home in tears and asked me if we could do something to help a woman who was very poor and desperate.. I asked my piano-teacher, who was involved in philanthropic societies if they could find a job for the woman. Because I thought to give to someone money is a temporary relief.. They actually offered her a job.. Next year that woman phoned at Christmas to thank ..
    People need our concern, love and attention, but most of all they are in need of .. self-respect and the pride and satisfaction that they are able to be useful members of the society and stand on their own feet.

  10. You shall not give with the intention that the other must do something, for his path or his way of seeing and going on his path is not yours. This man gave, because he could not stand to see the other one in a position that “he judged” miserable. That story has its questioning at the beginning … I gave him a silver coin to help him to get out of his misery and he did nothing important … Why did he have to give? What misery was he in? Did he talk with him, listen to what the other had to say, being in a miserable state, does that mean that that person has nothing important to communicate, to transmit. When I see somebody miserable (and what is miserable) … when I see an itinerant in Montreal, I thank God for the courage and the force I had to regain power over my life, over my dysfunctions, to have given me that something that enabled me to connect to my soul, to its voice etc … When I see an itinerant, I feel compassion and wonder what brought him there … when I see an itinerant, I wonder if I can help him … if he does not ask nothing, I pass my way with loving thought, or questioning of why I had to be a witness of that scene, etc … if he ask me for something, I listen to me, be aware of my possibility of the moment , etc … that man may be an angel! And at the end of that story, “you preferred to give him alms and rid yourself of your obligation” … easy to give and get rid of all that arisen inside … by giving and thinking that that will change the other, is a way of saying by giving I change or erase what is arising inside me … so to pursue the path with eyes that do not see, ears that do not ear, hands that do not touch, nose that do not sent, mouth that do not taste, and soul that stays emprisonned in a shell and to not elevate. So, in every action, even in that beautiful one of generosity and given, I think it is important to be conscious of why do I feel I have to give, why do I need to give … to make sure that I give for the other and not for me …

  11. aditya says:

    sad !! logical but not correct.

    there is a sect of jains ( i think they are called terapanthi jains, not sure ) who advocate that even if someone is dying of thirst or injury on road, or drowning in a well, i should not try to help. because if i help, the person may susrvive, and then maybecome a criminal then i too somewhere become responsible for those crimes. something like what the passage above says !

    that is not the way it is – when i am helping someone, i am helping a (wo)man in need, of course love and compassion are first step, but one can not drink or eat love, so if i have nothing on me but some money and i see i person dying of hunger, i may give some money. even othersie, just looking into the eyes of the needy i may give. what that person does with that money is not my responsibility. in case god or gods feel otherwise, i say sorry, i will continue helping in such situations, if it adds to my balance of sins ! i cannot help it .


    1. Irina says:

      There is a situation where one is not able to help because the person makes it clear that they don’t want your help, then you really can’t do anything because you’re mere trying to help them makes the situation worse.

  12. Everyone pays the price of their actions!!
    It’s a sad truth!
    They are both guilty!
    Just my two cents. haha

  13. ksenija says:

    Wisely and true smart story.

  14. Alexandra says:

    Here is about a crime,but we can apply the same philosophy to any other situation. How many times we see and hear people accusing others, but they never tried to help them, not with money and not with a single kind word. I think already that no one has the right to judge if never tried to give a hand. And also we understand the importance of a real help, being together, not isolated individuals. A flock together is not so easy to be harmed by predators,as an isolate sheep.