A short story on the consequences of how the rich get richer at the expense of damaging our beautiful planet. Resolving climate change is more mental than you think!
One day a Professor of Neuroscience decided to test his students. “I would like to observe one of you living and interacting in your home environment for a twenty-four hour period, commencing after today’s class and finishing at the same time tomorrow. I would need to have dinner at your house, stay at your house for the night, and we’d attend class together here in the morning. Would anyone like to volunteer?” the professor asked.
The professor looked around the lecture hall, hoping a student would volunteer.
Only two students raised their hands.
One was a seventeen-year-old, the son of a farmer; the other was a wealthy business woman.
“Professor,” said the young boy, “you are welcome to stay with me for the night. I live in a dormitory and share a room with a medical student who snores. I am happy to sleep on the floor and give you my bed. I don’t have much money for food, but my mother gave me some home-baked bread last weekend and we can eat that for dinner tonight. Would that be suitable?”
Before the professor could reply, the woman said, “Professor, I have a large house and can provide you with your own guest room, which has a king-size bed and its own bathroom. I can have my chef prepare us a gourmet meal for our dinner. Surely, that would be more suitable?”
“No, thank you,” the professor said to the woman. “I would prefer to stay at the dormitory.”
“But it would be much more comfortable staying in my house and I will feed you more than bread for dinner,” she insisted.
“I’ve made my decision. I will stay in the student accommodation as I only eat food that is good,” the professor said.
“I will give you good food,” the woman replied.
The professor smiled. “If you insist,” he said to the woman, “I will delay my observation for one day.” He then turned to both students. “Tomorrow, I would like each of you to bring me a loaf of bread. I will compare both and then I will decide whose house I stay at.”
The next day, the young student brought his mother’s home-baked bread to the class. It was stale and wrapped in recycled cloth. The wealthy woman brought a large loaf of bread that her chef had freshly baked that morning. It was warm and the aroma was wafting through the lecture hall, making everyone’s mouth water.
When the professor squeezed the young boy’s loaf of bread, golden honey flowed out of it. Silence fell across the lecture hall. Then the professor squeezed the wealthy woman’s bread. When crude oil dripped from it, the students eeked.
The wealthy woman gasped and shook her head. “I didn’t do that. My chef baked the loaf and this is all his fault!” As the professor wiped his hands clean, he said to the woman, “Your wealth comes from the torture of Mother Earth. When money is earned honestly with care and love for our environment, our offerings to others become as sweet as honey.”
Copyright © James Golding and Leisa Golding 2020