by Stephen A. Peterson
A dozen squirrels one day were playing squirrel games in an Eastern Oklahoma forest when two of their fellow squirrels fell into a deep pit. Within minutes, the remaining squirrels gathered around the pit. When the other squirrels saw how deep the pit was and that they had no devices to help lift them out of the pit, they told the two-trapped squirrels that they were as good as dead.
The two squirrels, although trapped, ignored the other squirrels and tried with all their remaining energy to get out of the pit. Still the other squirrels continued to tell them that they were wasting their time and energy and that they would die.
Finally, one of the squirrels bowed to group pressure and gave up. He quit trying to escape and died. The remaining squirrel ignored the other squirrels and continued to do whatever he could to get out of the pit.
As before, the crowd of squirrels urged him to end his pain and suffering because he just did not have a chance. Rather than listen to their negative comments, the remaining squirrel tried even harder. To the other squirrels’ surprise the remaining trapped squirrel made it out of the pit!
When he joined the group of squirrels once again, they asked him, “say didn’t you hear us?” The exhausted squirrel simply looked and smiled. They soon learned that the lone surviving squirrel was unable to hear. The deaf squirrel thought the other squirrels were encouraging him get out of the pit so rather than just give up and die, the lone surviving squirrel tried harder.
This old Native American tale has several lessons. First, that the tongue possesses immense power though small in size. Second, when people do not submit this small organ to the Principles and Will of God, the tongue has the power to destroy. Therefore, great care should be taken when one speaks!
The proverb also says a lot about the value of being deaf to the wrong voice, eh?