Two neighbors had adjoining farms. One raised wheat – he also had children and large dogs. The other farmer raised sheep.
The sheep farmer was in a quandary because the dogs next door kept running into his pastures and frightening the sheep. He spoke to his neighbor but the disturbances continued. He thought about taking the neighbor to court. He even thought about poisoning the dogs. Then one day he thought of a solution.
Some new lambs were born and the sheep farmer gave each of his neighbor’s children a lamb as a pet. They were delighted! Because of the pet lambs, the father could no longer let the dogs run amok. He restrained them and taught them to leave the lambs and the sheep alone – and everyone lived happily ever after.*
What situation in your own life could use a similarly creative solution? What about the co-worker who’s driving you nuts? What about the neighbor who has wild and crazy parties most weekends? What about the business next door that never washes their windows, leaves trash on the sidewalk and doesn’t seem to care about customer first impressions? What about a fellow church member who chews gum loudly during the service?
Can you come up with a creative solution – rather than an adversarial or confrontational one?
*Adapted from The Best of Bits and Pieces (The Economic Press)
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