icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Another Perspective

Escaping Death

I came across this Syrian fable a couple of decades ago and I've never forgotten it. It speaks to our best efforts to escape death.

There was once a beautiful young man whose father was a sultan. The lad lived with his family in Damascus. One day while his father was busy with matters of the palace, the boy came running in from the garden. He was very frightened.

He found his father and told him that he had to leave at once for Baghdad. When his father asked him why he was in such a hurry, the boy replied: "I just saw Death standing in the garden. When he saw me, he stretched out his arms as if to threaten me. I must leave now if I am to escape. There is no time to lose."

The father, visibly upset, readily agreed. He gave his beloved son the swiftest horse he owned and sent him on his way.

When the boy left, the sultan gathered himself. He marched into the garden to rebuke Death for frightening his son. He found Death standing by the roses. The sultan demanded to know why Death dared to intimidate his son.

Death listened solemnly. Then Death replied: "I assure you I did not intend to threaten your son. I only drew up my arms in surprise at seeing him. I was startled because I have a rendezvous with him tonight in Baghdad."

Being a parent, this story reminds me not everything is in my control. Conscientious parents like myself, try to foresee every danger, seek to protect their loved ones from harm. Yet there are events that simply are beyond our control. Death happens in spite of our best efforts to prevent it. It is important that we let our children live fully and freely - without too much interference from our fears.

What is your take on this tale? How does it match your experience?
Be the first to comment