Sheep theif

by Michelle Fortes

If you feel by changing the place the problems will go away, then this story is for you
*The Sheep Thief Parable
Several hundred years ago in a quaint village in Italy, two young men were caught stealing sheep.They were immediately taken to trial before the town judge, found guilty and, there in front of their fellow villagers, were given their sentence. It was a cruel, harsh and painful sentence that would charge them guilty for life. It was ordered that both young men be branded on the forehead with the letters ST-for sheep thief. Those who sat in judgment wanted to make sure that, for the rest of their lives, these young men, their fellow villagers and anyone who looked the two thieves in the face would be reminded of their crime and know that anyone who committed such a crime would be marked for life.
Not long after the punishment had been administered, one of the young men immediately left town telling everyone he was going to get as far away from them as his legs would carry him. However, in every village he went, word would spread within a few days that a sheep thief was among them and he’d move on to the next village. He spent the rest of his life moving from place to place. Finally, years later, he died a lonely, embarrassed and embittered old man who was far away from home, penniless and without any friends.
The other young man wanted to run away also but decided to stay, face the music, make amends and straighten his life out. He decided to give himself completely to his family, his friends and his village. He even worked as a shepherd for the man from whom he had stolen the sheep and eventually earned enough money to pay him back for the sheep he’d stolen. Then he saved enough to buy a small tract of land. He acquired a few sheep and started his own flock.
Each year he would add more sheep. He carefully tended to them as he added more and more sheep over the years, and within a couple of decades, he owned the largest flocks of sheep in the area. He was very active in his church and in his community, giving generously to others in need.His business ventures created an empire that eventually employed several hundred people. The village grew, and the fine woolen cloth it produced became popular all over the world. The man who once was a sheep thief had become the wealthiest, most successful man in the region. Everyone knew his name and honored him. He became the patriarch. There was not one human being who had not been touched by him in some way.
Many years later, as this now compassionate, caring and powerful man was walking down the sidewalk, a visitor to the village passed him. All this visitor saw was a weathered but distinguished-looking old man with a scar on his forehead that looked somewhat like the letters ST. As he walked by the old man, he saw a bent-over, elderly shopkeeper sweeping in front of his store and the Visitor asked him, “I noticed the letters ST on the forehead of the gentleman Who just passed by. Why does he have that on his forehead, and what do those letters stand for?”
The shopkeeper watched as the old sheep thief stopped at stores along his way and shook hands with those he met. He thought back on the crime the sheep thief had committed so long ago when they were both so young. But before the words sheep thief came out of his mouth, he thought about the wonderful life his friend had lived, all the people he’d helped, the success he had enjoyed and the leadership he’d brought to the village. What the shopkeeper said next was a testimony to a changed life.
The shopkeeper looked at the visitor and with a broad smile said, “You mean him? The one with the ST on his forehead?”
“Yes,” said the visitor. The shopkeeper paused and then slowly, smiling and nodding his head, said, “The *ST* ? .. Stands for *SAINT* .”
We all will make mistakes some time or the other. It’s not the mistake that defines us permanently, it’s what we do after it, that defines us. So learn and improve and don’t run from it.

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1 comment

loganathan jayakumar September 22, 2018 - 12:48 am

Excellent story for every one.It is a lesson for those who likes to migrate from native place to another place .


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