Cultural Story Time: A Dropped Sword
A Dropped Sword
Our story begins in Ancient China, during the period of warring states. A traveling swordsman stood enjoying the surrounding scenery, on a crowded ferry boat in a river crossing. Suddenly, the vessel was hit by a huge wave, and the swordsman lost his balance. During the commotion, he dropped his sword into the river as he grabbed hold of the vessel. Shocked, the other passengers looked to the swordsman for his reaction. The swordsman quickly walked to the side of the boat and started to carve a marking on the gunwale of the boat with his dagger. Confused, the passengers asked him how that would help him retrieve the lost sword. He said, “The sign is to mark where I dropped my sword. Once the boat reaches the landing, I can come back and find my sword at this spot.” The other passengers shook their heads in unison and told him “You will not find your sword.”
Thus, over thousands of years, the sword still remains in the river.
The lesson to be learned in this fable is not to mock the intelligence of the swordsman, but to remind readers that situations are ever changing in the world. Solutions must take into consideration all facets of the problem, rather than ignoring changes in circumstances when making arbitrary decisions. How else will you find your sword back?