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Think Before You Act

Think Before You Act
A man went to see the local wise man to seek advice on correcting many wrongs he had done against his fellow men. He said to the wise man, “Wise sir, I have wronged every family in this village and now I feel a great burden as a result of my actions! How may I correct my wrongs?”
“How did you wrong these families?” asked the wise man
“I spoke ill of them when it was not true, I spread lies and tarnished all their virtues, I made a mock of their good name and reputation until everyone lost respect for them and everyone turned them out! Now I want to correct these wrongs, what must I do, should I admit my wrong to each one of them and ask for their forgiveness?” replied the man
“I have the solution to your problem, it is simple!” said the wise man
“Truly!” returned the man relieved that there was a simple solution, “What is it?”
“Take a feather, any feather and place one feather before the entrance to the dwellings of each of the family you have ruined,” advised the wise man
So the man ran out and took many feathers and carefully placed one before the entrance of each of the dwellings as the wise man had advised and then he returned and informed him he had done so. Then the wise man said, “At first light collect all the feathers from all the dwellings and bring them all to me, then your deed is done and you will have corrected your wrongs”

So the man did not sleep all night as he patiently waited for first light to go and collect all the feathers to hand over to the wise man, but when first light appeared, he was unable to find one single feather to take back to the wise man. During the night a gust of wind had blown the feathers away. For days he searched far and wide praying to find just one feather to take back, but he could not find one.
Finally he returned to the wise man and he told him what had happened and that he searched night and day, but he was unable to find even one feather. So the wise man said, “You see how easy it was to lose something so precious and how hard it is to find it again, because yours are wrongs that cannot be corrected once done!”

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