Thursday, May 21, 2009

Truth and Story have a Contest

Exceptionally, I am posting the text for this story from Jewish tradition that I will record in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Once upon a time, there were two exceedingly beautiful women who lived together in small house at the end of a village. One day, the two women were having a discussion, that became a debate, and then turned into an argument. They could not decide which of the two of them was the most beautiful and which one would be the most accepted by the villagers.

When the argument became too heated, they decided to settle it by having a contest. The contest was that each woman, one at a time, would walk through the village and see which one had the most friends.

Truth was the first to try as she walked out of the house and down the village street. The villagers who were tending to their gardens and chatting to each other along the road noticed Truth walking towards them. Slowly, they began easing back into their houses until there was no one on the road, no one in their gardens, and finally no one in sight. Even the people who were seen in their windows pulled the shutters tight. By the time Truth reached the end of the road, there were very few people left outside.

When Truth reached the end of the road, she realized that she was going to lose this contest. "What can I do to make myself even more attractive?" she wondered. She realized there was only one solution left to her, so she removed her robe until she stood there completely naked.

She turned and walked back to her house thinking that the people would surely flock to her now. But in actual fact, the opposite occurred. What few people that were left outside fled back to their house, closed their shutters, and locked their doors. Truth walked that whole path back to her house completely alone.

When Truth walked back into her house, she was greeted by her friend, Story. Story grasped her hands and asked "So? How did it go?"

"I can't believe it," cried Truth. "There was no one there! Everyone hid themselves away from me!"

So Story said, "Here. Let me try." She put on her finest robes and jewelry and left the house, walking down to the village. As she walked down the village street, the doors and the shutters flew open and the people came out in droves, smiling and chatting with each other happily. As Story walked down the village street, the people streamed behind her. When Story turned and walked back through the village, all the people gathered together in the centre of the village and celebrated her visit.

When she returned to her house, she found Truth sitting there, quite humbled. "You win," she said. "It's obvious to me now that Story is more powerful than Truth."

But Story took Truth's hand and said "It's not that Story is more powerful. It's just that nobody likes the Truth, and especially they don't like the Naked Truth. If you want to get your point across to your listeners, what you need is the mantle of Story."

Story removed her robes and her jewelry, adorned Truth with them, and sent her out into the village. This time, the people opened their doors and windows and flocked towards Truth because now they were open to what she had to say.


Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey