Friday, February 22, 2013

If I were a Baker

If I were a baker and had an inventory of 100 loaves of bread, and every day I gave one loaf to my community's food bank to help feed the poor, I might think that I was doing my civic duty.

And if 100 starving people were knocking at my door and begging for bread, I might remind them that I have already given them my fair share.

But if my neighbor were to knock at my door to inform me that one loaf was not enough, that I needed to give two loaves a day, I might requisite, not realizing the problem was so severe. I know that I will always bake more bread tomorrow, and that I will still have 98 loaves of bread, which is more than enough to feed myself and my family.

But some bakers are bitterly complaining about already having to give away one loaf of bread, thinking that 99 loaves is not enough for themselves. And now they won't be satisfied until they have at least 200 loaves of bread.

Then tomorrow there are 200 starving people knocking at my door begging for bread, so I'll give them two loaves of bread, thinking that I was doing my civic duty. But my neighbor knocks at my door to inform me that now, two loaves was not enough, that I needed to give four loaves a day.

So again, I requisite, not realizing the problem was getting worse. I know that I will always bake more bread tomorrow, and that I will still have 96 loaves of bread, which is more than enough to feed myself and my family.

But some bakers are still bitterly complaining about having to give away one loaf, even though they now have 200 loaves, and they won't be satisfied until they will have at least 300 loaves of bread.

But I will continue to give away as many loaves as are necessary, so long as I still have one remaining loaf of bread, knowing that I still can feed myself and my family, and that tomorrow I can always bake more bread.

Meanwhile, after they have already stockpiled 500 loaves of bread, rather than feeding the poor, some bakers will still want more, although their excess bread is no longer of any use to them, because their bellies are full and they have grown obese. And their excess bread will one day become moldy, and will then be of no use to anyone.

Or they will die, and leave all their bread to their children, and their children...to carry on the baker's family tradition of greed and selfishness. But even so, even they will insist that now they must have more loaves of bread, continuing to hoard, while starving people are begging at their door.

The moral of the story is: Some people will never be satisfied, no matter how much bread they have, even if it means that others will starve to death.

The second moral of the story is: If you and your family are starving and need bread, if you can, sometimes you just have to take it --- because then it's not "theft", but "survival" --- because sometimes it's better to ask for forgiveness later, than to ask for permission first.

The final moral of the story is: ______________________________ (Leave your idea as a comment below,)

BELOW: "Man Stealing Bread" by Jean-Fran├žois Raffaelli

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