Inikah dia lakunan hidup
Di pentas dunia insan berpura
Tipu dan daya pencapai maksud
Budi dan harta merangkum noda
Rosli Hj. Ahmad
My earlier posting His Mentor's Voice , was a call for respect of diversity. It generated an interesting mix of light and heat on my Comments page. I try to give all-comers the oxygen of publicity but more and more it descended into a mire of trading (some) facts and (many) opinions and of self-indulgent nit-picking. It also attracted some who are hooked on polemics - and who love the sound of their own words.
It's time for a parable which people can deal with as they like. But remember, please, it's just a fable. If you don't like it, ignore it.
THE LITTLE GLASS HOUSE
Once upon a time, in the middle of a big forest, there lived a gardener who believed he was an avatar. The forest did not please him: it was vast, unruly, impossible to manage. Wanting something more to his liking, the gardener built a glass house, and fashioned his very own miniature garden. It was the tidiest, brightest, and most colourful of gardens; there were no weeds and no pests, the grass never needed cutting, and year after year the flowers were beautiful and the fruit and vegetables grew big and in perfect shape.
The gardener, being a perfectionist, kept a tight watch on his product. With great care, he calculated the formulae for success and made sure that the chemistry and the physics were right. He gave his plants all they needed for growth - the right temperature and humidity, light and shade, water and minerals. The discipline was complete, in a veritable factory of plants, row after row, tier after tier, weedless, bugless, properly fed. His plants responded and thrived.
Every day, through the walls of his glass house, he would look out at the surrounding forest and he would shake his fist in fierce triumph: he had humbled the forest; he had created a little patch of paradise in his own image; he had proven his prowess and powers.
The gardener, being mortal , grew old. More and more, he relied on his younger assistants to keep up the routine of cultivation, while he pottered about amongst his plants checking their specifications - making sure that the flowers, the fruit, and the vegetables were correct in their proportions and maintained in the proper manner. And, now and then, he would shake his fist at the world outside.
But as he aged, the gardener grew edgy . Things began to happen that were beyond his control. First, it was the glass: an earthquake cracked some panes, and in the time it took to get them replaced the temperature changed and a few plants withered and died. Then it was the supply of chemicals: the company which the gardener had so long relied on went bankrupt, and for weeks the garden was put on short ration. The result was disastrous: the plants had thrived on exact proportions of chemical fertilizer, chemical herbicide, chemical fungicide and chemical pesticide. In the absence of these, half the plants died, and the rest became seriously sick. The gardener was distraught.
And then the water supply was cut. From the start, the gardener had piped in water from the forest. Year after year, as he filled his glasshouse with more and bigger and better plants, he increased his demand and the forest obliged. Suddenly, the supply fell to a trickle. And the gardener, in an apoplexy of despair, could only shake his fist at the forest as his heaven shrivelled before his eyes.
The gardener, driven mad, faded quickly away. His assistants, learning humility scaled down their ambition and their appetite, while some melted away into the surrounding forest. The forest continued to survive, as it always had. Its inhabitants, people of modest dreams and mild disposition, had managed themselves well. And they had indulged the small mad gardener on the edge of their consciousness. Day after day, they had watched him stand in his little glass house and shake his fist at the rest of the world - at the world that made his wild dreams possible and his humbling end inevitable. And they had shrugged their shoulders when he, or his acolytes (of which some were residing in the forest) had stood at the doorway of their tiny construction and shouted at whoever would listen :
"Be like us - or be doomed!"
The Moral of the Story : You can do a lot under laboratory conditions. But most of us, thank God, don't live in laboratories.