The Principle of Relativity
Following a tweet by David Frum:
If this report is correct - big if - Kerry has walked way back from earlier Obama admin demands on Israel. http://t.co/SFW9xm6tbu
— davidfrum (@davidfrum) January 19, 2014
A poor man comes to his rabbi to complain about how difficult life is for him, his wife and their six children in a small one-room hovel. The rabbi reflects a bit.
Then he asks: Do you have any chickens?
- Good. You must now keep them inside your home.
The poor man, astounded, nevertheless does as advised. Returning a few days later, he complains to the rabbi that things are even worse now. What to do?
- Do you have any goats?
- Yes, two.
- Good. So you must keep them inside your home with the chickens and all the rest of you. Things will get better.
A week later, the man returns: Rabbi, your advise does not work. The noise, the filth, we can't sleep, we can't breath properly. What kind of advise is this?
The rabbi reflects and tells him: OK. Now go home and remove the chickens and the goats from your home.
The man returns a few days later and hugs the rabbi in gratitude: rabbi, you have no idea what relief your last advice gave my family. We suddenly feel so much better, breathing fresh air in our tiny but comfortable home!
[The principle? I guess it's a version of relativity. Add an extra abrasive element, create a sense of panic and claustrophobia, then remove the element that should not have been there in the first place. Once removed, the entire culture of the exchange changes. Or so it is hoped ... ]