Posted on August 22, 2008


Apart from the Shot Put which is an Olympic sport which could be traced back to the games of Ancient Greece, the art of stone-throwing is not particularly a special skill requiring loads of talent and practice. Small boys and girls can throw stones quite naturally. Where stones are in supply, all it requires is that they bend their knees, retrieve the stone/s and then throw it at or to whatever target they have set for themselves. Like most things in life, of course a little practice will help you hit the target with better regularity.


Speaking of targets, of course the larger the target/s, both in size and number, the greater the likelihood of hitting them. 


There is a saying: “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!” A glass house is a dream target for stone throwers. With glass houses, the level of stone-throwing skill can be reduced quite drastically. You could hardly miss doing harm to glass houses. Throw it any which way, the stone will do the damage. As many of us have unfortunately found out, an entire windscreen can be shattered by just one small stone which is catapulted from the wheel of the lorry travelling in front of us.  


These days, you need hardly turn the page in the newspapers to find that a lot of stones are being thrown in our country. In the ongoing XXIX Olympiad, no foreigner will be faulted if s/he misses the name of our country in the medal list. But we can point out to all who would listen: place one finger on the top of the medal list, run it down, turn the page and start again, slow down and somewhere in the middle you will find for real a silver medal awarded to Malaysia. However, any stranger in the land will in next to no time discover that the sport of Throwing-the-Stone is Malaysia’s favourite game played by a group of competitors divided into two teams: Team G and Team O.


Any follower of the game will soon see that in this game, Team O has fewer stones than Team G. The reason being that Team G has access to all the stones they care to have whereas Team O could only pass the hat around and afford to obtain and equip themselves with a few stones. But then, as the game progresses, any fair-minded spectator will cry foul against Team O as they see the gross advantage they have over Team G in the matter of targets. In fact, Team O seems to have an insurmountable advantage when it comes to targets. They could throw their much fewer stones any which way and bang they will effortlessly hit not just one but many targets all at once all the time. 


Under the circumstances, the team with fewer stones but a lot more targets will want to do less throwing but concentrate their game-plan on selecting from the large pool of targets a few choice ones to hit. Theirs must be a strategy of hit-and-run. That is, they hit their selected targets then they need to keep moving always aware (or beware) that the other side with excess of stones in their hands will keep throwing and will at times hit something. Thus, Team O must always work to reduce further the targets they present to the other side. Because it is never nice to be hit.


On the other side, Team G with so many stones to spare will invariably do a lot more throwing. Indeed, they throw their stones quite liberally and indiscriminately. Understandably, they adopt a throw-all-the-time strategy but being short of targets they will have to make the most of the few targets with the result that if at first they miss, they must still aim at the same target even if they had been targetting it for ten long years.


Thus, Throwing-the-Stone can be quite tiresome for the spectators who have to endure the spectacle of seeing one team re-inventing the same target over and over again but despite their endeavours never seem to succeed to hit their at times invented and imaginary target and win the gold. Despite having the services of a renown coach for many many years. They then tried out a new coach but their fortunes took a turn for the worse during the last major Games in March 2008. These days they look like they are scouting for a new coach. 


The moral of the story:  Some have more, others have less but every team has some glass waiting to be shattered. Don’t try to get the people to fix their eyes on your opponents’ wrongdoing which could not total the number of fingers on both hands, when your own faults cover the sky and block the sun from our fair land. The more you speak of other people’s fault, the more you draw attention to your own vulnerabilities. In other words, “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!”


























Posted in: Parables