Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CLVIII. Stories My Grandmother Told Me (10 of 10)

The rare book story

This true story is my last one. It was narrated to me by a friend and it relates to the unknowns in our lives and how we deal with them.

Life is full of undetermined events: “Will my son be a doctor like his dad, or a lawyer like his uncle?” (The son in question could still be in grade 1!). “Is this girl the right one for me?” The issue could be of present relevance and have an impact on a decision we need to take soon; or be no more than an obscure question for which there is no answer, for example: “how does heaven looks like?”

Now to the story which will clarify the above concept.

A man who needed money decided to sell his valuable library. He tried hard to find a buyer who was willing to pay what he thought the library was worth, but to no avail. There was no lack of interest; some people even spent a lot of time inspecting the books and asking questions. But the problem was always the same; yes, the library was valuable, but the price was too high. Just when our man was resigned to lower his price, he was visited by a scholar who was willing to pay twice the requested price! The circumstances were rather unusual.

The prospective buyer’s inspection of the library consisted of a tour that lasted less than five minutes. He quickly glanced at the books, and without even going through the whole library came back and was willing to seal the deal. But the seller was curious and even a bit suspicious.

“How could you judge the value of the library, and be willing to pay twice my price after such a short inspection?” asked the seller.

“My friend,” said the scholar, “I am willing to pay this price because your library includes a very rare and very expensive book, worth many times what I will be paying you. What I did, during my short tour of the library, was to make sure this book is indeed here. And it is. I wanted to be fair, therefore, I decided to pay twice the asking price.”

“How did you know I had this book? And why did you tell me all that? Now I can find it and sell it myself.”

“I cannot tell you how I knew that, but I can admit that I was not totally sure. As to finding this book, it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. And do not waste your money on experts. Only a handful of people know about this book.”

“How much time are you giving me to decide?”

“There is no time limit except that I am leaving for India in a month’s time. But I will be coming back to the U.S.”

The man spend weeks going through his library in an attempt to find this elusive book. He hired experts. It turned out to be a waste of time and money. The experts asked what type of book were they supposed to look for? Was it scientific, historical, religious, or perchance mystical, in nature? He had no idea. Without that information, the experts admitted that their task was made much more difficult. They did find some rare books in his library, but still could not account for the high price offered.

Six months after the two parties had first met, the deal was concluded. Cash changed hands, but not knowledge; for the scholar still refused to divulge the identity of the book.

This story illustrates so well how we deal with the unknowns in our lives. The man in the story was greedy, he got twice as much as he was asking for, but still wanted more. Nothing new here, most of us are greedy. He wasted time and money trying to find a specific book among many others without any information to guide him in his quest. Again, many of us would have done the same thing. He took a chance; this scholar was no doubt going to seal this deal, but what if he would have, say, been killed in a car accident.

When faced with such an unknown, remember this: if you have any chance of finding the “rare book,” then by all means try; otherwise, don’t waste your time, instead, strike when the iron is hot.

Comments are closed.