Sharing The Grapes

13 Jan

grapes   Reza Aslan, educator and writer, recalls an old Sufi parable.  It goes like this:  Once four men were traveling together when they became very tired and very hungry.  They were from different countries and spoke very different languages.  In their hungry state, they tried to decide what to buy with the one coin they held in common.  The Persian wanted to spend the money on angur; the Turk, on uzum, the Arab on inab; and the Greek on some stafil.  Soon their wrangling turned to confusion and confusion to anger as each traveler tried to convince the others that his own solution was the best.  In the midst of their bickering, a stranger approached…a traveler, too, and a linguist by profession.  It took him only a moment to understand that they were all, in fact, asking for the same thing: grapes.

I believe one fundamental truth about life is that we all want basically the same thing.  Despite language, religion, culture, race, or gender our basic need is simple and similar.  Is it respect, love, acceptance, a sense of personal worth…?  Pick one, or name your own.  If only we could talk across and above our shouting and fear, we might find the more precious things we hold in common.   We might discover that we are more alike than we think.

One Response to “Sharing The Grapes”

  1. Eric Carr January 14, 2015 at 1:27 am #

    I think this may be my favorite post of yours so far. Yes, everyone wants to be valued, cherished, celebrated, loved. What a marvelous metaphor in the story of the grapes. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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