The Righting Reflex

I am most definitely guilty of engaging my impulse to correct. There’s something so delightful and ego gratifying about correcting someone’s misperceptions or mistakes. In the story below I like how the business owner used that impulse to his advantage:

Once upon a time there was an inn called the Silverstar.  The innkeeper was unable to make ends meet even though he did his very best to draw customers by making the service cordial and the price is reasonable. In despair, he consulted a sage.

After listening to his tale the sage said, “It’s very simple. You must change the name of your inn.”

“Impossible!” said the innkeeper. “It has been the Silverstar for generations and it is well-known by that name.”

“No,” said the sage firmly. “You must now call it the Five Bells and have a row of six bells hanging at the entrance.”

“Six bells? But that’s absurd. What good will that do?”

“Try it and see,” said the sage.

The innkeeper gave it a try. And this is what happened: just about every traveler who passed by the Inn walked in to point out the mistake, each believing that no one else had noticed it. Once inside, they were impressed by the cordiality of the service and stayed on to refresh themselves, soon providing the innkeeper with the success that he had been seeking for so long.

Excerpt from  Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning through Storytelling by Ernest Kurtz

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One Response to The Righting Reflex

  1. Jan Morrill says:

    Yes, that was one wise sage. I like the way Kurtz using these short stories to teach lessons.

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