Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I Principles of Life

Teak is a hard wood used in building and furniture making. It is produced mainly in Burma, but is also grown in India, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. In India, it has been in use for more than two thousand years.

The most important property of teak is its extraordinary durability. In ancient times, boats and bridges were built of this wood and in buildings as old as a thousand years, teak beams are still found to be in excellent condition.

The main cause of the durability of teak wood is that, it is not eaten away by white ants. Wood serves as a food for white ants, and, once they have made inroads, it quickly disintegrates. Yet, foes as they are of wood in general, they pose no threat to teak.

What is the property which keeps teak safe from the danger of white ants? The answer is quite simple. Teak has a bitter taste, which is not to the liking of the white ant.

This example of an inherent quality acting as a life-preserver shows us the way of nature. Nature wanted to preserve teak from the depredations of the white ant. To achieve this end, it did not formulate demands or utter protests. It simply endowed teak with such a property as would keep its insect attackers at bay.

Just as wood has an enemy in the white ant, so do men have their human enemies in this world. Now what should a man do to save himself from them? Taking a leaf out of nature’s book, he should strive to produce in himself such qualities as will keep his enemies away from him, make them refrain from indulging in injurious courses of action.