My friend, fellow speaker and country comedian from Nacogdoches, Texas, Bob Murphy, tells the story:
"A fellow over in East Texas walked into the local greasy spoon and ordered a bowl of chili. When the waitress brought the chili and set it down, by coincidence another waitress was carrying by one of their delicious homemade pies, and the meringue and the fragrance were completely enticing. The diner asked the waitress if he could swap the bowl of chili for a slice of the pie. She readily agreed and made the exchange. He proceeded to eat the pie and enjoyed every bite of it, then got up and started to leave. The cashier said, 'Sir, you did not pay for the pie you just ate,' and he responded that he had swapped the chili for the pie. The cashier then said, 'Well, you didn't pay for the chili either,' and he responded, 'No, and I didn't eat the chili.'"
I think all of us realize the above is a fable. In a peculiar sort of way, a swap like that is logical, but not only is it not, it's just flat wrong. The guy was attempting to get something for nothing, and in the real world, that just doesn't happen.
Sometimes, we parents unknowingly give our children "something for nothing." Doing things for a 3-year-old seems to save time and is far easier than teaching him or her "how" to do it themselves. However, when we do everything for our children, we, in many cases, are raising someone who will seldom, if ever, go out on his own. As parents, our prime responsibility is to work ourselves out of a job. Think about that and you'll give yourself — and your children — something to smile about.
To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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