Minister Birbal constantly asserted that everything happens for one’s own good. Emperor Akbar, who was young, was distrustful of Birbal’s wisdom and questioned the minister’s constant, optimistic assertion.
One day, while handling a sword, the Emperor chopped off the tip of his little finger. Birbal immediately told the Emperor not to worry, everything that happens has a purpose behind it and that purpose is for the good. The Emperor became exceedingly angry with Birbal and threw him in jail.
The Emperor bandaged the little finger and then as a diversion, went into the forest to hunt. Unfortunately, he got separated from his hunting party and was captured by a tribe of cannibals intending to make a human sacrifice. The Emperor was bound like a sacrifice lamb and taken before the temple. When the temple priest examined him, he announced that he could not be sacrificed because he was not a perfect specimen, since the front portion of one finger was missing. As he was not fit to be sacrificed, the Emperor was released.
On his return, the Emperor thanked his luck for injuring his finger which had spared his life, and immediately went to the prison to meet Birbal.
“O, Birbal, please accept my apologies for imprisoning you. Now I understand how my injury was for the best. But tell me what good did it do you? How is it for the best that you have been confined here due to my anger?”
Birbal replied, “Your Majesty, if I had not been in prison, you would surely have taken me with you when you went for hunting, and when the forest cannibals rejected you for their sacrifice, they would surely have found me an excellent substitute!”
Moral of the story:
It is helpful to see the good side of what appear to be bad events. It is a morale booster; it is also an aid to creativity, since it spurs you on to bounce back from ill fortune and get on optimistically with your life.
Belief in our own abilities can help us feel more centred or better anchored, whether in our personal lives or in a high responsible professional life.