Monday, 8 April 2013

No Free Lunch

The story happened in a prehistoric country where wise people lived. The country accommodated wise but poor people. One day the King decided to find a solution to this problem. What good was wisdom without financial prosperity? People thought great and sleep hungry. That was indeed a pathetic situation.

The King and the ministers and all the old men in the country gathered under the moon and thought and thought for a whole night. They could not come to a solution. So they slept in the day and gathered again under the moon the next day. The next day broke without reaching any solution to the problem. So they slept during the day time. The moon seeing this foolish exercise decided to shed less and less light on the country during the night. One day the moon hid him and did not show up at all. So the King and the ministers and all the old people slept in the night. During the sleep the secret to prosperity was revealed to all of them. It was an amazing revelation which was shared among all the country men before the early sun rays.

The country prospered. Again the country prospered. The King died and another King sat on the throne. The ministeres died and other ministers stood to help the King. The old people died and the younger became old. Still the country prospered. Kings replaced the King; ministers replaced the ministers; old men replaced the old men.  The treasury of the King was filled with more and more gold and silver. Kings after Kings had the trouble of re building the treasury house to accommodate gold and silver. Moreover, they thought that it was a threat to the safety of the kingdom itself.

So the King called in all the ministers and the old people in the country. They gathered under the moon and discussed the problem. The sun broke in the east before them coming to a conclusion. One day the moon hid him and the King, the ministers and the old people sat in the dark restlessly. Before the sunrise they decided to distribute gold and silver to their citizens. They decided to provide free food, free houses, free clothes, free education, free health services and everything freely to their citizens.

It was happy days in the country. None went to work from the next day. No perspiration. People gathered to discuss philosophy, read and enjoy poems, act dramas, enjoy jokes and so on …. They dreamed during the day and the night. A truly prosperous country! All neighboring nations were jealous of that country.

Gradually they could spend the gold and silver that were kept in the treasury. Buildings constructed for keeping gold and silver were demolished one by one. It was a great relief for the King, the ministers and the old people. After all they could manage the wealth and provide the people with food, house, clothes and better health.

But one day the King was reported that there is no sufficient food to supply; no gold and silver to spend for the construction of houses and no health services and no clothes for the people. Still the people continued to demand for all these. The King became sad and did not know what to do. The situation in the country became tensed. People clamored for food at the gate of the palace. Even the King found it difficult to meet both the ends.

So the King called in the ministers and the old people in the country. They gathered under the moon. They discussed, argued and thought for a solution to the problem. History of many past years were read aloud. Innovations applied by Kings in the past were analyzed. The gathering went on for days. At last the moon hid him and did not shed any light on the country. So the King, the ministers and old people went to sleep in the night. During the night, the oldest person the country got a revelation; a solution to the problem.

The next day, early before the sun rise, he approached the King and told the revelation. The King was happy. He called in his trumpeters. He called in his scribes. He asked them to write the King’s order and published it in the streets of the country even before the first sun rays.

The message was clear. There would be no free food, no free clothes, no free houses, no free health services and nothing free thereafter. Everybody had to work hard and earn their necessities.

The country became prosperous once again and remains prosperous to this day.

Professor Jacob Abraham

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