Wednesday, September 28, 2005

How Popular Education Works -3

I learned the following story many years ago in Montreal from a palm reader.
Stop Eating Sugar

There was once a father who was told by doctors that his son had diabetes. The father was told to tell his son to stop eating sugar or else he would die. The father, obedient of the doctor’s instructions told his son to stop eating sugar. But the boy refused saying, “can’t and won’t!”

The father thought about forcing his son to stop eating sugar but knew, as he thought this, that enforcing this would be an impossibility. His son could eat sugar the first time he was out of sight of his father and thus endanger his life.

The father loved his son very much and was at his wit’s end when the boy suggested: “You know, father, there’s that wise woman who loves a few valleys over. If she were tell me to stop eating sugar, I would.”

The father thought this an odd situation, but, if that’s what it would take to save his son’s life, he would do it. They packed their few belongings and made the long journey to the home of the wise woman.

Once inside, the father told the wise woman the reason for their visit. The wise woman nodded, then said, “Come back in fourteen days and I will tell you what I must.”

The father was irritated. After all, their request was simple enough. But, he had little choice and left.

After fourteen days they returned to the home of the wise woman. Once inside, the wise woman looked at the boy and said, “you must stop eating sugar or else you will die.”

“Okay,” said the boy and he turned and left the room.

The father looked at the wise woman and said, “I mean no disrespect, but you can see we are poor and that the journey was long and costly. I must ask you why you could not have said those words fourteen days ago?”

The wise woman was smiling and she nodded and said, “Ah! you see, I felt that for me to tell your son to stop eating sugar, I had to stop eating sugar first.”

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