I had a decayed tooth in my mouth that troubled me. It stayed dormant during the day. But in the tranquility of the night, when the dentists were asleep and drug stores closed, it began to ache.
One day, as I grew impatient, I went to the dentist and told him to extract that damned tooth that dealt me misery and denied me the joy of slumber by converting the silence of my night into moaning and uproar.
The dentist shook his head and said, “It is foolish to have your tooth extracted if we can cure it.”
The he started to drill its sides and clean its cavities and used every means to restore it and free it from decay. Having finished drilling, he filled it with pure gold and said boastfully, “Your bad tooth now is stronger and more solid than your good ones.” I believed him and paid him and departed from the place.
But before the week was over, the cursed tooth returned to its diseased condition and the torture it inflicted converted the beautiful songs of my soul into wailing and agony.
So I went to another dentist and said to him, “Extract this damned tooth without asking me any question, for the person who receives the blows is not like the one who counts them.”
Obeying my command, he extracted the tooth. Looking at it he said, “You have done well to have this rotten tooth extracted.”
– From the Decayed Teeth by Kahlil Gibran.
In our daily life, how many decayed teeth have we vainly try to rescue with pure gold when the right thing to do is to extract it?