One day there was an animated discussion about the religious preacher who was on television, newspapers, radio, everywhere. One of the visitors said he was amazed at how the preacher had an answer for every question, an advice for every person and was never at a loss for words.

In response, the sage told them a story. “As a king passed a village, he suspected that there was an extraordinary marksman there because of the numerous arrows on village walls each one right in the centre of little circles. A young man was brought before the king who asked him, ‘Are you the one who shoots so well?’

“The young man said, ‘Your majesty, I first shoot at the wall, and then I draw the circles.’

“So our man first has his readymade answers, and he is waiting for the questions that fit them,” concluded the sage.

(Francis J Padinjarekara: The Ocean in the Dewdrop, de Mello Publications, 2010.)

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