a tale

A Hole in the Fence

Once upon a time, far away in India, there was a Sadhu pilgrim. He travelled the land on foot, and people gave him food and shelter, because his presence was deemed a blessing upon the house.

One day he came to a small chicken farm. He asked whether he could rest and maybe get a small bite to eat. Although the farmer looked sad and tired, he seemed happy to comply, and told him to go to the house and wait for him.

A Hole in the Fence x

After some time, the farmer came in and put some cold rice on the table. But before they could eat, the farmer excused himself for a moment, went out, and came back again after a few minutes.

They said their prayers, and started to eat. But soon enough the farmer excused himself again, went out, and came back after a while.

They resumed their meal, and there was just enough time for the farmer to complain about his busy life, when he had to go out again, only to come back after a while.

A Hole in the Fence 1

So this time, lest he disappear again, the Sadhu asked him: “Why are you continuously leaving your meal, and your guest?”

“I am very sorry to make your stay uncomfortable, Baba. But this is part of my burden, of my having so much to do all day. See, there is a hole in the fence of my chicken compound. So every few minutes I have to go fetch those chickens who try to run away.”

A Hole in the Fence 2

“But why don’t you fix it?”

“Ah but this is a big hole. To fix it I would need to go to the village and buy some spare fence.”

“So why don’t you go buy it? You seem to be able to afford it.”

“Yeah, but if I make the trip to the village, some chickens will run away and be lost forever! You are a wise man. Maybe you can come up with a solution, but I couldn’t!”

The Sadhu thought for a moment.

“This may be hard for you,” he said, “but I think you’ll have to decide to lose some chickens.”

A Hole in the Fence 3

Thanks to Arnoud for the metaphor.

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2 replies on “A Hole in the Fence”

Had he remained alone, he had his problem never solved: he was mentally not occurred to Invest mode, in the sense that investment here could initially mean loss. Without well-founded projects no change in the world.

Maybe he should have asked a wise man and not listening to the unthoughtful words uttered by any Tom, Dick or Harry. Why can’t he ask the pilgrim to guard the chickens and get the stuff to repair things? No need to accomodate any loss at all but a quick and positive ROI…

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