The Parable of the Noble Soul

29 01 2008
There was a young man called Joshua and his soul was good. Joshua had chosen to pursue a noble career, a job that would enable him to help people. His chosen job wasn’t easy however, he’d chosen to help people understand the world. After Joshua had made his decision his friends looked at him with a mixture of awe, dread (for his safety) and incredulity as they knew his job wouldn‘t be easy.

Indeed Joshua did find his work challenging; Some of the intended recipients of his help failed to heed his wise advice. Even though his help may prepare them for the future they simply tried to belittle him in front of their friends. This was not the end of his troubles however, not only did they try to belittle but they also insulted him. Despite all of the drawbacks however Joshua continued to believe in his work, he simply kept a level temper, turned the other cheek and continued to care.

Joshua retained this outlook outside of his work-related arena. He was kind, considerate and generous. However the problems he encoutered in his work continued outside his work. When Joshua decided to go to watch a football match he found that he was having to turn the other cheek there too. Someone in a crowd called him “Scum”, the person making the insult chose to hide in a group to protect his guilt. He bore the insult. He also bore the icy stares and sullen expressions emanating from beneath identical hooded tops. He took everything in a state of equilibrium. He retained a zen-like air even when he could feel the contempt of the youngsters as they filed past in rustling polyester.

Joshua found the location of his companions so he joined them. The warmth of friendship replaced the frost of contempt. The jokes and conversation lifted his spirits, he felt good again. As the match progressed Joshua realised that a football match could be interpreted as a contest between good and evil. Joshua found this outlook a touch too melodramatic today, he realised that it was more like good versus the misguided

As the action of the match unfoulded, the tackles, the shots, the passes, the assualts, it was clear that the two sides favoured differing approaches. Joshua’s side approached the contest in a constructive manner; passing, running, shooting, they even showed beauty and subtlety. The other side’s approach was more brutalist; they showed anger and resentment. Joshua’s team’s approach looked to be more effective; they almost lead in the match. The other team’s approach was only effective at attempting to stop Joshua‘s team. The only contacts between the teams were usually between the shins of Joshua’s team and the soles of the other team’s boots. Halfway through the contest the score were level although Joshua’s side were ahead on an aesthetic level.

Joshua’s mind was taken off the rapidly approaching second half by a rapidly approaching teenager. Joshua believed that this teenager was coming over in a mood of friendship. Unfortunately the teenager took on a condescending tone and used his finger as a weapon. Joshua just turned the other cheek and walked off, he wouldn’t let this cocksure teenager put him off trying to help people.

The second half of the match appeared to be like the first half but suddenly Joshua’s team were losing. The goalkeeper of the other team rushed in the direction of Joshua and his friends gesticulating wildly, he appeared to be trying claim superiority. Joshua nearly failed to turn the other cheek but eventually retained his composure.

Joshua’s team restored his hope. Just like Joshua, his team remained true to their principles; they continued to be constructive. The other team’s goalkeeper kept his team in the contest but Joshua and his friends could not appreciate his skill as he continued to gesticulate wildly. At one point he even pulled an extremely bizarre facial expression. His gestures became goading after a while because he thwarted Joshua’s team time and again.
Then suddenly the contest appeared to turn further towards Joshua’s team. A substitute entered the contest and he added further verve and sparkle. At the same time the other side began to flounder under their luddite approach. The goalkeeper continued to defy Joshua’s team until thankfully, Joshua’s team levelled the contest.

Joshua and his fellows beacme ecstatic. The goalkeeper now became the subject of the attention. Joshua stopped to consider the goalkeeper’s situation, he realised that the goal was punishment enough and so retained his calm demeanour. Joshua’s friends continued to remind the goalkeeper of his actions. It seems that they believed that as the goalkeeper had cast the first stone it was fine. The goalkeeper had forgotten to appreciate the wind into which the stone travelled, hence the stone came back towards him.

The goalkeeper didn’t appreciate the return of his advice. In fact he disliked it so much that he spat at a young man near Joshua. When one of the young man’s friends reported this to the Police the goalkeeper began to complain that he’d been hit by a phantom object.
The rest of the contest passed and Joshua and his friends felt happy. They had seen their team come back to svae the match. Now they had a chance of winning the next game against the other team in two weeks. The goalkeeper had also been made to look foolish, his boasts had proved to be his undoing.
The drama wasn’t over for Joshua however, the crowd of followers from the other Team were waiting outside singing obsence songs, would he make it to the car? Well he did, he turned the other cheek.

The moral of this parable is be like Joshua. Remain calm, turn the other cheek, commit to values. Do not be like the goalkeeper. Do not give advice if you do not intend to receive it. Do not taunt your opponents, lest you should be made to look silly when it backfires.
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