The Dog, the Stick and the Sufi

A man dressed as a Sufi was walking along one day when he saw a dog on the road, which he struck hard with his staff. The dog, yelping with pain, ran to the great sage Abu-Said. Throwing himself at his feet and holding up his injured paw, he called for justice against the Sufi who had maltreated him so cruelly.

The wise one called them together. To the Sufi, he said: “O heedless one! How is it possible for you to treat a dumb animal in this manner? Look at what you have done!”

The Sufi answered: “Far from its being my fault, it is that of the dog. I did not strike him from a mere whim, but for the reason that he had fouled my robe.”

But the dog persisted in his complaint.

Then the peerless one addressed the dog: “Rather than waiting for the Ultimate Compensation, allow me to give you a compensation for your pain.”

The dog said: “Great and wise done! When I saw this man garbed as a Sufi, I was able to conclude that he would do me no harm. Had I seen instead a man wearing ordinary dress, I would naturally have given him a wide berth. My real mistake was to assume that the outward appearance of a man of truth indicated safety. If you desire his punishment, take away from him the garment of the Elect. Deprive him of the costume of the People of Righteousness…”

Reflection Questions

  • When in your life have you been deceived by another person’s appearance?
  • What happened as a result of your incorrect assumption?
  • Why did you make that assumption?
  • If you made no assumptions about that person, how might your interaction with that person have been different?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story.

Stuck In An Abusive Relationship

A lady goes to work at a large department store and she’s friends with somebody in a another department who she doesn’t know very well, but is drawn to her. You know how you can just meet somebody and like them immediately. But over a short period of time this one lady begins to notice that the other lady is getting more and more solemn and depressed.

And finally, even though they have never really spoken, she walks over and says “Hi. I’m Ruth and we smile at each other from time to time. I hope I’m not prying into your life, but I could tell that something is wrong. Would you mind sharing it with me? Maybe it would be better if we talked about it.”

“Yeah, I’ll tell you what the deal is. I’m stuck in an abusive relationship.”

“Oh,” Ruth says, “listen to me. Don’t you put up with it for one second. Don’t you stay in any abusive relationship. No matter what, don’t you stick with it.”

“No, I don’t think you understand,” says the other lady. “You see, I live all by myself. And there’s nobody else in my life but me.”

This story was written by the best-selling author, Guy Finley.