Wisdom story: The cake parable
One day while shopping a mother with two daughters had to face one of her biggest fears. Probably every parent fears the same thing at least a little bit. You see while walking down the aisle full of candy the two little girls found only one bar of their favorite chocolate and they started arguing really loud about which one of them could have it. In a matter of seconds, the arguing escalated to yelling, and in a blink of an eye, they were crying and causing a scene. The two girls almost started fighting when the mother stepped in between and took the chocolate bar and put it in the cart. She convinced the two girls to calm down and that they would solve the problem of who gets the chocolate bar when they get home. But only if they behave well until then. The two daughters didn’t like the idea at first too much but they figured that they had some time until now and when they get home to make a good impression on their mother and gain her favor. From that moment on the girls did everything their mother asked of them. When they came home they even helped prepare dinner and cleaned the dishes. While the girls were occupied with trying to impress their mother, the mother was trying to come up with a way so the girls would learn to share. While preparing dinner she remembered a short story called “the Cake parable” she once heard in a teambuilding event at work that would be right for the situation at hand.
After dinner when the dishes were done the two daughters again started arguing about which one should get the chocolate bar. So the mother called them to the table where she was waiting with the chocolate bar. As the girls sat down their mother asked them if they have ever heard about “the Cake parable”. The two girls looked at their mother strangely and asked what is that. Their mother explained, “It’s a short story that has a hidden lesson, but what that lesson is you will have to tell me. And the first one to have it right will get the chocolate bar.” As the mother started telling “the Cake parable” she started peeling the chocolate bar, “One day after a long night of partying two cats were looking for a place to get a snack. They had little to no luck finding a restaurant or a stand with food still open as it was almost morning. But after some time they finally got lucky and found a small pastry shop that was just about to close. As the owner proud himself of having only fresh pastry he always gave away for free any pastry that was left at the end of the working day. The two cats looked around the small shop and one of the cats meowed as she saw a big delicious-looking cake. The other cat jumped up and picked it up. The first cat said it was her cake because she saw it first. The other cat argued that it was her cake because she picked it up first.”
When the mother was finished peeling the chocolate bar she put it on the cutting board in front of her. She then asked the two daughters if that sounded familiar to them? And if any of the two cats were right? The two daughters of course started arguing about which one was in the wrong and what should happen next. The mother calmed the two girls and continued with the parable, “As the two cats were arguing a monkey happened to pass by and it overheard the two cats fighting for their share of the cake. The monkey approached the two cats and explained that she has a solution to their problem. She told the cats that she has two hands and that she could easily divide the cake into two equal shares. The cats agreed. As soon as the cats handed over the cake the monkey cut the cake in half.” The mother stopped for a “second” and asked her two girls if that would also be an agreeable solution for them? The two girls, like the cats in the story, agreed. So the mother cut the chocolate bar in half and continued with the story, “As the monkey put the two pieces apart it was apparent that they were not the same size. The cats started arguing about which one gets which piece. The monkey shook its head and said, ” Oh no! One piece is slightly bigger than the other. Let me take a bite of the bigger one so it will be as big as the smaller one.” Then the monkey took the bite.”
As the mother said this she also took the bigger piece of the chocolate bar and took a bite of it, and then continued with the story, “The monkey saw the mistake it made, “Oh no! The other piece is smaller now.” So the monkey took a bite of the other piece that was now bigger.” As the mother was telling this she did the same with the other half of the chocolate bar. The mother continued telling the story and doing the same with the chocolate bar as the monkey did in the story with the cake. Soon there was no chocolate bar left. The two daughters were shocked. How could this have happened right in front of them? The mother calmly asked the two daughters, “What is the lesson you learned from “the cake parable”? Do you think the same would have happened if the two cats wouldn’t been arguing and would share the cake from the start?” The two daughters were sad as they were tricked out of their chocolate bar. But both agreed that they see they were wrong by not sharing the chocolate bar as it was more than enough for both of them. The mother was pleased to hear that her two girls learned a valuable lesson, and decided to see if they really have learned it. She pulled a new chocolate bar from her pocket and put it in front of the two girls and asked them, “Who gets the chocolate bar?”
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What lesson did you get out of this story?