Returned Unopened

By Joseph Mattappally on 20-01-2014

I was through a small book of moral lessons. I know that I usually get stuck on some points, while reading. This time I got completely lost, because I found it hard to continue without pondering on the content again and again. It was the story of an old woman who gently passed away. The final rites went on as scheduled and she was laid in the tomb. Later, there went on a discussion on the message to be inscribed on her tomb. Everybody knew that she was a good woman of a decent social standing. She was quite supportive to her husband, motivation to her children but never did believe in throwing a penny out to someone else.  Everyone knew what she missed in her life. At last the parish priest suggested marking ‘Returned Unopened’ for epitaph.
It took no time for me to invite in a famous parable from the Holy Bible. Once there was a farmer who planted a tree in his vineyard. A few years passed by and this farmer came to the tree and looked for fruits but was quite disappointed to see that it hasn’t begun to bear fruits. He called his servants and asked them to cut it and throw that useless tree into the fire. Most of the humans are like this tree in the vineyard. In spite of the fact that we are here for bearing fruits and to be helpful to others, we care to enrich ourselves with thick leaves and high strong branches. No flowers, no fruits. We care only for our family, our needs, our pride, our standing and our comforts. Our life is limited to our spouses, our children, our balance, our status and our earnings. We live as barren trees in the midst of rich vineyards. The moment we turn to the vine plants, we see its’ branches bearing heavy bunches. They are of no use for the plant. It lives as if its’ only purpose is sacrificing for others. The tree neither realizes this truth nor obliges to its’ own instincts. It might be the reason why the farmer asks his servants not only to cut it off but also to throw it into the fire. 
Most of us are not different from the tree in the parable. We know that the universe has designed this world in a fashion that each being on the surface has a feeling that the whole creation is just for that. We take heavily from our society and environment. We but do not realize the fact that we would not have been this or that without drawing anything from what are around. If we do not compensate for all that we receive, the flow is interrupted and love gets stagnated within. There it becomes befitting to write: ‘Returned Unopened’. I think that the problem is that we have enough of everything and finds it comfortable to be closed in one’s own shell. The adage says: ‘Empty pocket teaches you a million things in life, but full pocket spoils you in a million ways’.

About The Author

Sri. Joseph Mattappally

Sri. Joseph Mattappally, Founder and Director of Indian Thoughts, is a writer and social worker. He is also a Reiki Master (RIRC Mumbai) and licensed Amateur Radio Operator ( VU2JIM). He has authored 'Success Secrets', a book detailing basic life management principles.