Most people want to live comfortably. But how much is enough?
Nasreddin Hodja was born in what is now Turkey in the early 13th century and quickly developed a strong reputation as a quick wit and a man not to be fooled with. He was loved by the common people for putting rich people in their place, his humor and trickery, but mostly for poking holes in pompous windbags. (The word “hodja” is an honorific meaning scholar or teacher.)
One of the stories told about Hodja concerns a beggar. The itinerant was given a piece of bread, but no butter, jam or sauce to put on it. Hoping to get something to go with his bread, he went to a nearby inn and asked for a handout.
The innkeeper turned him away with nothing, but the beggar sneaked into the kitchen where he saw a large pot of soup cooking over the fire. He held his piece of bread over the steaming pot, hoping to thus capture a bit of flavor from the good-smelling vapor.
Suddenly the innkeeper seized him by the arm and accused him of stealing soup.
“I took no soup,” said the ...
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