However, it does have a moral to go with it. 🙂
So the story goes:
A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. The will of the father stated that:
- The eldest son should get half of 17 camels.
- The middle son should be given a third of 17 camels.
- The youngest son should be given ninth of the 17 camels.
As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the sons started to fight with each other.
So, they decided to go to a wise man. The wise man listened patiently about the will. The wise man, after giving this much thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.
Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will.
- Half of 18 = 9. So he gave 9 camels to the eldest son.
- A third of 18 = 6. So he gave 6 camels to the middle son.
- A ninth of 18 = 2. So he gave 2 camels to the youngest son.
The sons were happy. But add this up: 9 + 6 + 2 = 17. This leaves 1 camel, which the wise man took back.
Moral: the attitude of negotiation and problem-solving is to find the 18th camel, i.e. the common ground. To reach a solution, you must believe that there is a solution.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.