Little Fire Brigade

Little Fire Brigade

“Be helpful to others; then your conscience itself will appreciate you and keep you happy and content, though others may not thank you.” (Bhagwan Baba)

A fire was raging in a little hut near the bank of a river. Several people were running to and fro filling buckets from the river and throwing them into the fire in an effort to douse it. Two small children were crying seeing their house go up in flames. A tiny bird filled her beak with water and flew over the towering inferno and let the water drop into it. The scorching heat singed her wings but that did not deter her from her mission. Valiantly she flew back to the river to fill more water in her tiny beak and flew back again to spit out the water over the fire. She continued to make these trips to the river to bring water from the river, as tediously as the people who were toiling with their buckets. The entire team worked frantically while a lazy crow sat atop a tree and watched the tumultuous scene below. The crow called out to the little bird saying, “Hey birdie, why are you wasting your time? Your tiny beak barely holds a drop or two of water in it. What can that do to put the fire out?”

The bird replied panting, “Howsoever small the amount of water may be, at least it is something. And something is better than nothing!” The crow scoffed at her saying, “These people haven’t been able to douse the fire with their buckets full of water. What can you do with your tiny droplets? Hah! You’re just wasting your time. Come sit by me and rest your tired wings!”

The bird persisted in its efforts to play ‘fire brigade’ and the crow continued to ridicule her. Finally the bird stopped and said, “My contribution may be miniscule, but when the history of this event is written, my name shall be quoted amongst those who helped in putting the fire out; neither amongst those who started it nor with those who chose to sit around and did nothing else but criticize!”

Sitting around and passing idle comments is very easy. It is not everyone who can feel the pain of another deep enough to get up and render help. Most of us would see the fire from afar and say, “Uh ho! What a terrible fire.” That’s it! And we would just go our way! How many of us would stop to help?

When somebody is sad, do you feel the pain in your heart? Do you ever try and offer comfort or solace to a distraught stranger? Everyone loves their own people. If you can love others for no reason at all and with no expectation of return, that is what makes you different.