A Teaching Story
On every occasion when we invite guests to dine with us, before the guests arrive, my wife gives me a moral lecture on social graces and table manners, especially on how I must talk less, let the guests eat first, take small helpings, etiquette social graces…blah…blah…blah…basically on how I should “look after” the guests and not enjoy my own meal and I almost end up starving myself and feeling miserable.
This evening, I turned the tables on her. When we sat for dinner, I told the esteemed guests and my fellow diners this delightful Mulla Nasrudin story – and then I went ahead and enjoyed my meal to my heart’s content.
Once a renowned philosopher was traveling through the wise Mulla Nasrudin’s village and he asked Mulla Nasrudin if he knew of any good place to eat.
Nasrudin suggested an eatery and the scholar, hungry for conversation, invited Mulla Nasrudin to join him for the meal.
Much obliged, Mulla Nasrudin accompanied the scholar to the restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the special dish of the day.
“Fish! Fresh Fried Fish!” replied the waiter.
“Bring us two,” Mulla Nasrudin ordered.
A few minutes later, the waiter brought out a large platter with two fried fish on it, one large fried fish and one small fish which was quite a bit smaller than the larger one.
Without hesitating, Mulla Nasrudin took the larger of the fish and put in on his own plate.
The scholar, giving Nasrudin a look of intense disbelief, proceeded to tell him that what he had just done was not only blatantly selfish, but that it violated the principles of almost every known moral, religious, and ethical systems and started to deliver a moral lecture and pontificated on the subject of etiquette for a long time.
Mulla Nasrudin calmly listened to the philosopher’s long winded extempore moral lecture patiently and when the scholar had finally exhausted his speech, Nasrudin asked the visitor, “Well, Sir, please tell me, what would you have done?”
“I being a conscientious and cultured human being would have taken the smaller fish for myself,” pontificated the scholar taking a high moral ground.
“Good. Here you are,” Mulla Nasrudin said, and placed the smaller fish on the scholar’s plate.
Happy Eating !