Monday, July 29, 2013

Parable of the Mountain Village

There once was a small, mountain village. It was a happy, peaceful place, at the end of 10 miles of winding road.
Then one evening, a bus full of children was making its way back down from a visit to the village, when a young man in a sporty little car was zooming up the road. The driver of the car had been enjoying himself in the city at the foot of the mountains. He was rather inebriated. In his fuddled state, he crossed the dividing line and struck the bus. Car and bus both careened over the edge and tumbled down the precipice.
The next morning, the news of the disaster spread like wildfire.  The whole community was rocked by the horror of it. Many were silent, consumed with grief. Some clamored for justice, vengeance. Someone had to be held accountable. For many others, the event was a call for action. Something must be done to ensure this never happened again.
Many ideas were suggested – Guard rails, for instance. Another suggestion was to place checkpoints at the top and bottom of the Mountain, and to check every driver’s sobriety before allowing them to pass. Others suggested anyone caught driving intoxicated be removed from their vehicle and bodily thrown over the edge. Surely the threat of death would be sufficient discouragement to prevent anyone else from daring to drive that road intoxicated. Still others suggested banning alcohol altogether. This they reasoned would get to the root cause. If nobody could get drunk, there would be no need to make death threats, or carry out executions, which many felt was a barbaric thing to do. There was, of course a strong opposition to these latter suggestions, by those who said such actions would discriminate against drunks.
Finally, after careful consideration, the village and city governments agreed upon a means to solve the problem. They blocked the road at both ends. Preventing any vehicle traffic up or down the road. Anyone wishing to travel to or from the village would have to do so on foot.
As a result, there was never another incident involving a horrible vehicle accident. An occasional person would go missing, and one or two weaker individuals succumbed to exhaustion while traveling. Many people never traveled again due to the inconvenience, or cost. Those who could afford to owned one car in the village, and another car in the city. And by and large, nobody lived happily ever after. The End.

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