Thursday, January 21, 2010

When Faced With Two Options, Choose the Third

It seems I have been having a long-distance political disagreement with a very dear, old friend of mine. I remember well our growing up together in Kansas, and I find myself somewhat sad that we have diverged so much from each other. 

In the spirit of healing, I would like to present another teaching story from Mulla Nasrudin, a folk character from the Sufi tradition who was a combination wise man, holy man, philosopher, and fool (another of his stories appears in the 12/6/09 posting).

It seems that not long after Mulla Nasrudin had taken up residence in a village, the judge of the village court had to go away on business for a few days. Since the Venerable Mulla had presented himself as the wisest man around, he was a natural choice to sit in as the Judge Pro Tempore until the regular magistrate returned.

So the Mulla took his place solemnly in the judge's chair and ordered the first case to be brought before him. Nasrudin listened intently as the plaintiff presented his case. As soon as the petitioner was done, the Mulla smacked his gavel on the bench and declared, "You are right."

The court erupted in an uproar. "But you haven't even heard my side of the story," cried the defendant. "Ah, yes," said the Mulla sheepishly. "You may proceed." With that, the defendant presented his case. As soon as he heard the story, Mulla Nasrudin slammed down the gavel and said, "You are right!"

Again there was pandemonium in the courtroom. Finally, when order was restored, a court official spoke up. "Your Honor, both sides cannot be right."

To which Mulla Nasrudin replied, "You are right, too!"


1 comment:

  1. As I have a number of second and third degree relatives as well as some old friends that hold widely divergent political views from mine, I loved this story!