The 18th Camel

By Friday, March 23, 2018 1 No tags Permalink 12

There was a father who left seventeen camels as an asset for his three dependents. When the father passed away, his family opened up the Will. The Will of the father stated that the eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of the total number of camels while his daughter should be given 1/3rd (one-third) and his widow should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the total number of camels.

As it was not possible to divide seventeen into two or seventeen by three or seventeen by nine, the three started to fight with each other.

So they decided to consult their village elder, a wise old man and close family friend. The wise man read the Will patiently. After giving due thought, the wise brought one camel of his own and added the same to the seventeen camels. That increased the total to eighteen camels.

Now, he started reading the deceased father’s Will. Half of 18 = 9, so he gave the eldest son 9 camels; 1/3rd of 18 = 6, so he gave the daughter 6 camels; and 1/9th of 18 = 2, so he gave the widowed mother 2 camels. Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took back!

Moral: The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find this 18th camel, the issue is resolved. At times it may be difficult to reach a solution, but the first step is to believe that there is a solution.  If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach an amicable conclusion!

Become more resilient by learning to focus on solutions rather than problems. A key personal development goal that can serve you well both in your professional life but also in your personal life is the ability to see beyond a difficulty or problem and turn your brain and actions towards working towards initiating solutions.

1 Comment
  • Deependra Singh
    March 23, 2018

    Good one