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The Parable of the Bread

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright © 1999

 

Once upon a time, there was a poor but lucky family in a rich land.  The husband and the wife worked very hard but could not earn very much for their two children.  The husband was foolishly idealistic and always believed that he was lucky.  In fact, things just seemed to work when he was around them and people thought he was cleaver.  His business was to show people how lucky he was and as everyone knows, luck rubs off.  Rich people would praise him and would spend their money to show others just how lucky this made them.   Even though he seemed lucky, none of the money went to his poor family.

 

 

 Because the poor husband wanted to be generous to his friends, he put the rest on a plate with butter and a bread knife so that his two friends could share.  He then asked his friends to take what they wanted but neither picked up the knife.  Instead, the friends continued to carry on a wonderful and friendly conversation.  The husband offered the bread plate  several more times and each time the two friends declined.  The family did not want to show bad manners so they did not eat either. 

 Suddenly there was a knock on the door.  When the husband answered he found a rich stranger that offered to help sell his lumber at a better price.  The husband naturally invited the stranger to dinner and as the stranger sat down passed the plate of bread with the bread knife to him.  The stranger cut off half of the remaining loaf and began to eat.  Without warning the two friends became angry.  “How could you give away our portion.”  They said.   “You obviously do not appreciate us.” They said.  

 The poor husband was frustrated and did not understand.  “I gave you the forty percent of the loaf before the stranger arrived.” “I offered you what I had and you choose not to take even a slice.”

 “They are right for if you had really appreciated them you would have offered all of us the majority of the bread.” The stranger stated.  

“If you had really appreciated us you would have offered us each a slice with butter and told us how much you appreciated us.” The two friends said in unison.

 

 Their friendships were never to be the same again and this poor family was never again to give away their luck to their friends freely, and therein is the tragedy.   But, the moral of this story is that generosity is in the eye of the receiver, not just the good intentions of the giver.  

 

 

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Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved