There was once a couple who had lived in peace and harmony for a good many years. The husband was ugly and always had been deaf; the wife was a shrew and had been blind from childhood. Being blind, the wife never knew how ugly her husband really was, while he, being deaf, was not troubled at all by his wife’s sharp tongue.
One day, they learned of a physician of whom it was said that he could work miraculous cures, and they decided to go and see whether he could heal them of their handicaps. They agreed in advance to pay whatever amount of money the physician might charge them.
And it happened that the physician was successful, so that the wife was blind no more and the husband no longer deaf. Unfortunately, this amazing cure also spelled the end of the couple’s domestic felicity. The husband now heard his wife’s constant scolding and soon lost his patience with her, while his wife, clearly seeing his ugly features for the first time, could not bear to look at him. Therefore, when the physician presented them with his bill, they refused to pay. In fact, they told him, it was he who owed them compensation for having ruined their happy marriage.
When he saw that he could not prevail upon his two patients to pay for his services, he sighed and said: “If it is really true that I have made you unhappy by my cure, I will attempt to restore your happiness to you. If you wish, sir, I can make you deaf again, and you, madam, can easily be returned to your former state of blindness, and then your life will be as happy and peaceful as it was before you met me.”
To this, however, both the man and his wife objected most strenuously.
“Well,” replied the physician, “if you are unwilling to return to your former state, then it is obvious my skill must have made you happier than you were before. Hence it is only fair that you pay me for my services.”
Let this be a lesson, for those who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. If life, once given to human beings, is so dear that they will not relinquish it voluntarily, it stands to reason that they must pay for the priveledge of living. And what form must this payment take? Responsibility before God for their deeds.