The Price to Pay for Misunderstanding Can Be Very Great

Woman who has arrived home from work.

As soon as she arrived home from work she called her husband and told him to fetch some buns on his way home from work. (Image: Dejchgorn Chaimee via Dreamstime)

People are usually motivated by good intentions, and seldom is there any question about it. On the other hand, blaming, accusing, jumping to conclusions, and misunderstanding someone’s motives and intentions can bring disastrous consequences.

The following eye-opening story related by a lady is such a scenario, with an interesting outcome.

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I am a person with little patience, and after my marriage, it was very typical of me to fuss over very simple things with my husband and argue with him a lot.

One afternoon, after I finished work and got home, I gave my husband a call and told him to fetch a few buns on his way home from work.

The daylight gradually started to dim. I had the congee and the dishes all prepared, but he still hadn’t called or shown up. I was a little worried, and also a little angry.

Finally, I heard the sound of the door opening. He was home, with two empty hands.

“Where are the buns?” I asked. My anger started to rise. “I didn’t buy them!” my husband answered, and his demeanor was very calm.

Immediate misunderstanding and jumping to conclusions

“How am I supposed to finish preparing the meal tonight? Why do you always take my words as if they were just thin air?” I shouted angrily.

Lin didn’t say anything. After I fully had a go at him, he then walked over to me and carefully rolled up his sleeves. His arm unexpectedly had a layer of thick mesh gauze wrapped around it!

I looked at him in extreme astonishment.

“On my way back home, I was hit by a driver riding a motorbike and got hurt. It was a “hit and run,” as the driver sped away. So I had to walk to the hospital by myself and get bandaged. All the money in my pocket was used to pay for the hospital fee, so there was no money left to pay for the buns,” Lin methodically explained.

I held up his arm, and I was full of guilt as I thought about my terrible misunderstanding and unreasonable behavior just moments ago, and I couldn’t speak for a long time…

“It really hurts, right?”

”Lin shook his head and said: “Actually, I am very glad.


Together, they built a good life. They built the nest and prepared for the winter. (Image: Gazaah via Dreamstime)

“Yes, I am glad that it was a motorbike that hit me and not a big truck, or else I wouldn’t even have the chance to listen to your complaints.”

My tears then just poured out of my eyes. At that moment, I suddenly remembered a story that I once read — a story about two lovebirds living together.

Winter was soon to arrive and the male bird went out every day to work hard to pick fruit to prepare for winter. He finally collected a full nest of fruit.

But not long after, he discovered that the fruit was beginning to disappear! The male bird blamed the female bird and said: “It is very hard to pick fruit, but you actually went and ate a lot of the fruit for yourself. The female bird then explained and said: “The fruit has gotten less by itself; I did not eat any of the fruit for myself.”

The male bird didn’t believe what the female bird said, and felt very angry for her weak explanation, so he pecked the female bird away forever.

But afterward, rain started to pour down from the sky; with the rain, the dried and shriveled fruit swelled up and the nest filled up with fruit again.

Misunderstanding: This little birdy made a terrible miscalculation. Although he has everything he is all alone.
This little bird made a terrible miscalculation because of his misunderstanding. Although he now had everything, he was all alone. (Image: via

However, what’s left now is only the male bird who cries and wails all day: “Where are you now, my sweet lovebird?”

When I read this story the first time, I didn’t pay too much attention to it, and I didn’t really understand the meaning behind the story. But now, I suddenly realized the consequences of such a misunderstanding. It’s not a story about a nest full of fruit, even if it is a tree full of fruit, or a mountain of fruit, or a world full of fruit, no matter how much, it would have no meaning without your loved one.

The same goes for this story. It’s not a story about a few buns. Even if it is a table full of delicious food, a thousand pieces of beautiful clothes, a mansion, or a body full of golden jewelry, what meaning does it have if you don’t have that loved one?

Since then, I have learned to calm myself down whenever something comes up.

Because I now know that sometimes the price you pay for a misunderstanding is very great, so great that even if you tried to pay for it with your life, it wouldn’t be enough.

Have you had similar encounters in your day-to-day life? What does this story remind you of? Could it be that the lady and that little bird are reminding us to keep our priorities straight?

Translated by Eric Chao

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