Grass, Mouse and Peach

birdincage (birdincage)
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A rabbit and a cat were arguing about what is the most delicious food in the world.

The rabbit said, “The most delicious food in the world is grass, its mild scent is far more appetizing than that of carrot. Especially grass in spring tastes a little sweeter and is more appealing.”

The cat disagreed: “Nothing on the earth is better than mice. Just think of it, the fresh meat, the soft skin, so chewy and tasty. Only the luckiest animals can enjoy mice, the one and only good thing in the world.”

Both of them stuck to their own opinions, and kept debating for a long time. They couldn’t reach a conclusion, so they went to ask a monkey to judge who was right.

After listening to both statements, the monkey shook his head and said: “You two pure and simple fools! You don’t even know what the best food in the world is. Let me tell you, the tastiest food is peach! My mouth is watering now when I say it. Whoever eats it would become so excited as to start singing. Now, you two, you shouldn’t forget what is the best food in the world any more.”

The cat scorned the monkey: “I knew you would say peach! How can that fuzzy thing be edible? Even ten peaches cannot beat one mouse! This is enough. I won’t listen to a single word of you any more.”

The rabbit said nothing but muttered in his mind, “What’s the matter, if peaches are the best food, then why I would rather eat grass?”

A sage happened to pass by and heard their contentions. He paused and said, “There is no single best food in the world. Animals are so different that they have very different tastes. So the wise way is to enjoy whatever you consider the best, and be content knowing more about others’ favorites through talking.”

This is all true for human beings as well. We often see people arguing endlessly, some of them may even result in quarrels, or bitter words towards each other. If we review some basic facts and take a right attitude towards debating, we will enjoy it rather than resent it.

First, human beings are very different among themselves, and the differences are no less than those among rabbits, monkeys and cats. We are born to be different. We came from different families, lived in different places, and were educated in different schools. We have had different experiences, met different people, worked on different jobs and had different achievements and failures. Such differences made us who we are at the present, therefore, we see things from different points of view, and have different opinions.

Second, everyone has his or her own value. No one is perfect, and no one is a complete idiot either. Thus, before you start to argue, remember you are not a phoenix, you could be wrong. If others have different or even opposite opinions, they must have their own reasons and they might be right. So treat different opinions carefully and with respect.

Finally, we debate to reach a conclusion, to learn from others, not just to defeat them. Through debating, we can learn to see an issue from different angles, to widen our minds, to gather good ideas, and to enrich our knowledge.

In conclusion, whenever you start to quarrel and get angry, give yourself a break, and think about this story. Hopefully, you will calm down and make the debate a pleasant and fruitful experience.
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2001-8-27 -04:00
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