The tell-tale plants

A young man had just graduated from medical school. Fortunately, his family was quite wealthy and he was able to open up a clinic of his own. Outside the clinic, he put up a big sign saying “Qualified Physician” and listing all his degrees and diplomas.

The very day the clinic opened, the doctor was standing in the doorway when he saw a most respectable-looking man approaching. The man was very well-dressed. The doctor was so happy. He took it as a sign of good fortune that his first patient should be someone very wealthy. He watched the man approach the clinic and read the sign very carefully. Then the man looked at the outside of the clinic itself.

All of a sudden, the man turned around and started walking away. The doctor ran after him and cried out, “Why are you leaving? You have come to the right place! I am the doctor who is mentioned on the sign and my clinic is now open. You can rest assured that I will do the needful for you. I am very well-qualified. Please come back for a consultation.”

The man said, “I was coming to your place to get treatment, but I am leaving because of certain plants that you have placed right outside the door of your clinic.”

“Yes,” said the doctor, very confused, “I placed them there for decoration.”

“May I ask when you last watered them?” enquired the man. “In case you have not noticed, all the plants are dying. They are dying because of your negligence, and for no other reason. You could have saved them if you had given them water, but you did not care for the lives of these innocent plants. Why then should I expect you to care for my human life? No, you are indeed a horrible doctor!”

“People will come to me so that I can give them life,” protested the doctor. “They are not coming to see some stupid decorations.”

At this point the man became really angry. He said, “You are the last one to be qualified to care for human lives. Take care of your plants first! Then you can think of human beings. I am disgusted by your callous attitude! You have no genuine concern or compassion for God’s creation; otherwise, you would immediately have seen that your own plants were dying.”

Then the man turned and left without another word.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Amusement I enjoy, enlightenment I study, part 5, Agni Press, 1998
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