18th camel

18th camel - This is a parable that will appeal to lovers of mathematics, and lovers of philosophy, and in general to all who are interested in self-development.

One Arab had 3 sons. And when his time came to die, he called his sons to him, and said to them:

- I am already old, and I will soon die. You know that I have 17 camels. I leave them to you as a legacy. Let the elder take for himself 1/2 of the camels, the middle son - 1/3 part, and I will give the younger one 1/9 of all the camels.

Having said this, the Arab died.

When it came to the division of the inheritance, the brothers found that they face an unsolvable task. The fact is that 17 camels can not be equally divided in half. They also found out that 17 is not divided either by 3 or 9. How to divide the inheritance and fulfill the last will of the father?

Friends offered them a lot of different options, for example, sell all camels, and share the money; or use not the exact, but the approximate proportions established by the father. However, no option was approved by the heirs.

One day a wise man passed by their house. Learning about the unsolvable problem, he offered them help. Tearing off his camel, he let it go to those 17, after which the animals became 18.

Then he divided 18 in half, and ordered his eldest son to take 9 camels. The middle son got 1/3 part from 18, which turned out to be 6, and the youngest left 9 part, that is 2 camels.

When adding the divided parts, it turned out that 9 + 6 + 2 = 17. Exactly as much as the father bequeathed to his children.

For the remaining 18 camels, the sage sat down, to whom the animal belonged, and went to his own land.


The moral of this parable is explained differently. Psychotherapists claim that the 18th camel symbolizes the help of a psychotherapist, who should not be part of life, but appears in it only for a short period of time, and after the task (that is, the problem of life) is solved, it disappears.

Others believe that the author of the ancient parable suggests looking at any difficult situation from a different angle, deriving from this the slogan: “Look for 18 camels!”.

Still others believe that this parable ideally explains the need for the existence of God (see the proofs of the existence of God), figuratively calling him the 18th camel, without which it is impossible to answer the most important questions of human existence.

One way or another, but the parable is a very curious intellectual focus.

Watch the video: William Ury - The 18th Camel (April 2020).

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