Thursday, 11 October 2007

The story of the sun and the wind

The sun and the wind were watching a man in a long coat when the wind said to the sun "Hey, I bet you that I get his jacket off". The sun, un-phased by the apparent brag replied "No you couldn't, but I bet I can!". And so the challenge was on. Firstly the wind tried. He huffed and puffed as much as he could at the man, but the man simply pulled his jacket around him as much as possible and clung on tightly to it.

"Ha!" said the sun, "now it is my turn", and the sun shone down on to the man. The man, now sweltering in heat, removed his jacket. The sun had won.

This is a dangerous children's story. I was told it in primary school and it has stuck with me. What I realise now, that I didn't at the time, was that it wasn't just suggesting that to get what you want, you need to bribe rather than blackmail, instead what it actually was saying to me and my 5 year old brain, was that to be able to get someone to let go of something, you should not try and pull it from them. To do this only demonstrates your desire to own it rather than them. Instead, by destroying the reason for them to have it, you are devaluing the item. Once they have little regard for it, they will be quicker to part with it. The sun also improved his chances by letting the wind go first, thus his change to warmth would have clashed with the man's body's ability to regulate temperature and caused him to make rasher decisions regarding his apparel.

So remember children, if you want something from someone else, first highlight a reason for them to have it, and then destroy the reason, finally giving them the chance to take it off their hands for a lower than reasonable price because of its now less worthwhile use.

I love children's stories

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