In November, 2006 at a high school Mathematics club business meeting, 16 year old Donna Reel was attending began to get out of hand. Members argued as to who was the more talented leader and who did the most work. After roughly ten minutes, Donna stood up, asked for order, then told this little story. It went something like this:
In merry old England, back in the days when knighthood was in flower, there was this very young prince. Each day the prince rose to begin his day. As he did, he thought of ways he could make people in his realm feel bad. As his servants dressed him following his bath, the prince wrote down what he would do to show them who was boss. The prince’s usual acts were to impose and collect a tax on anyone caught praying in public, displaying a religious item or saying “God Bless You”. The prince also generally fined and jailed anyone referring to a rich person as their brother or sister.
On the feast of Stephen the Martyr, the prince walked through his garden. As he did so, a huge boulder was displaced hitting the prince about the head. Knocked to the garden floor, the prince died. He was immediately given a glimpse of heaven and hell by the Angel Gabriel. Without a word, Gabriel accompanied the prince first to hell where he observed logs stacked twelve feet high and eighty feet deep. Adjacent to the logs was a furnace in a room 100 degrees below zero. Even though there was plenty of wood to heat the room for many years, the room was cold. Against a wall, the prince observed people sitting there angry and frustrated, quarreling with each other. They argued as to who was the most important in the kingdom. On the right side were small weak people holding the sacred fire. On the left side were big, physically strong people capable of lifting the 100 pound logs. They would not help each other because they could not agree that each had a special and unique role.
The prince was then taken to heaven. Once again he found a huge room just exactly like the one he had observed in hell. As it was in hell, the prince observed on one side of the room very weak people with the sacred fire. On the other side were big strong people near twelve feet stacks of wood eighty feet deep. The wood was also near a furnace as well. The difference was that as the big strong people deposited wood into the furnace, the weaker ones put fire starter in. Working as a team and without compliant, everyone was warm though the weaker one did 80% of the work. During the brief moments of rest, loggers and fire people enjoyed each others presence. They ate, drank and were merry for all eternity!!!
After completing her brief story, Donna sat down to a very quiet room of students. Within minutes, the student officers group began working together to accomplished the tasks they were elected to achieve. This was in spite of one group doing 85% of the group’s tasks.