Grandma remember that story you used to tell me as a kid?
The one about an animal called pandah that would make animals trying to cross a bridge give it their goods in return for a paper value equivalent.
Ah! I remember.
Can you tell me again please?
Sure, once upon a time there was this very old and rickety bridge. The bridge was located at an important spot where all merchants coming back from a busy day trading would need to cross.
This bridge was very old, and very rickety. For a long time, there was a panda that stationed itself at the start of the bridge, it approached all merchants trying to cross with their heavy load in order to persuade them not to. The pandah will tell the merchants scary stories about how those that do not heed his advice perished or lost everything as they tried to cross the weak bridge with their heavy load. Telling everyone that the wisest and easiest thing to do was to give it their goods and he will give them a lighter, paper version that was worth the value that he placed on their goods.
The trouble was that the pandah always valued the merchants’ goods at ridiculously low price. But the scary story had been told for so long that almost every animal believed they were better off taking the panda’s offer. In fact, this trade with the pandah had gone on for so long that a new verb called pandahring was coined out of the trade. Pandahring was seen as a necessary evil. Even though the pandah placed little to no value on the merchants’ valuables.
One day, a new merchant got to the bridge and immediately the pandah made his usual demeaning offer to the merchant. Repeating the same scary story. But this time the merchant turned the pandah down.
All the animals were in disbelieve; they thought the panther had gone crazy. In fact, they were sure of it. This is what we’ve all done for thousands of years, they said. You can’t avoid pandahring. You’ll be foolish to turn down pandahring.
But the panther didn’t listen. Instead, the panther got on the bridge and slowly made its way across. The journey was slow and eventful and at times some of the other merchants didn’t want the panther to make it across successfully as this will mean their decision to be pandahring could have been avoided but yet the merchant made it across successfully.
So, what’s the moral of this story? Believe in yourself. If you don’t, people might try to take advantage of you. Also don’t be surprised to find lack of support from the most unexpected places.
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