Small Stories #31

A teacher teaching math to seven-year-old Kazim asked him, “If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?”

Within a few seconds Kazim replied confidently, “Four!”

The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). She was disappointed. “Maybe the child did not listen properly,” she thought.

She repeated, “Kazim, listen carefully. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?”

Kazim had seen the disappointment on his teacher’s face. He calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that will make his teacher happy. This time hesitatingly he replied, “Four…”

The disappointment stayed on the teacher’s face. She remembered that Kazim liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn’t like apples and that is making him loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, “If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?”

Seeing the teacher happy, young Kazim calculated on his fingers again. There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Kazim enquired, “Three?”

The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked him, “Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?”

Promptly Kazim answered, “Four!”

The teacher was aghast. “How Kazim, how?” she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice.

In a voice that was low and hesitating young Kazim replied, “Because I already have one apple in my bag.”

Message of the Story:

When someone gives us an answer that is different from what we expect don’t think they are wrong. There maybe something that we have not considered at all. To listen well we must be willing to release our assumptions.

Published by Ranjini Madhavan

Iam a homemaker who like to travel to spiritual places and like to share my spiritual tours , pictures and my personal tour experiences .Though am not expressive to put it in words thought it would be easy for others who likes to travel these places so that they may know what all places to be covered and a sweet memories for myself.

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