Amit belongs to a middle class family. He was very obedient and hard working in his school days. When he entered the college, his behavior dramatically changed. Now he is no more obedient and hard working. Oftentimes, he takes money from his parents by giving false reasons. His near and dear are worried about him because of the change in his behavior. They think that probably he has got into the wrong company.
Whenever a well-wisher advises him to leave the bad company and pay attention to the studies, he pays no heed to him or her and replies: "I am not a kid; I know what is right or wrong. Though some of my friends aren't good, they wouln't have any effect on me."
Time kept moving on. As usual, the time for the exams approached. Amit did study for the exams but he failed one subject, probably due to insufficient preparation. It was a big shock to him as he always passed with very good marks. As a result, he went into depression. He stopped talking to others and kept confined to his room, where he always kept pondering over something or other. No one knew what was going on in his mind. His family members got worried due to his condition.
His parents advised often boosting up his morale: "Amit, forget what has happened and work hard again for the next exams. We are sure you will definitely succeed next time." But he found himself unable to come out of the situation, though his parents did everything possible to boost his morale.
One day, the principal of his previous school came to know about him. He couldn't believe it as Amit was one of his favorite students. He decided that he would definitely help Amit come out of his despondency.
For this purpose, one day he invited Amit to his home. As it was a cold winter evening, the principal was sitting near a small bonfire made just outside his house. Amit sat by his side. For about five minutes, none of them spoke anything. Suddenly, the principal got up and picked up a piece of burning coal with the help of a pair of tongs. He then put the coal on the ground. It kept burning for some time and then got extinguished.
Seeing this, Amit asked him out of curiosity: "Sir, why have you done this? It has become useless now. If you had let it be there in the fire, it would have been burning to give heat."
The principal smiled and told: "Son, though I have taken it out of the fire, it hasn't become useless."
He then put the coal back in the fire and told: "Look, it has started burning again to give heat."
He further told: "Amit, have you understood why I did this? You are like this piece of coal. When you were in the good company, you were burning. Therefore, you worked hard and got good grades in exams. You got extinguished like the piece of coal when you got into the bad company and failed your exams. Now you know that failing once doesn't mean that you can't get good grades again, just like the piece of coal started burning again after I put it in the fire. Similarly, if you start moving in the good company again and start studying seriously, you can again become an extra-ordinary student. Always remember that we all have immense potential to change our defeat into a triumph, provided we resolve firmly to do so."
Amit clearly understood what the principal wanted to convey. He left after promising him that he would leave no stone unturned in carving out a successful future for himself.