Parable of a Hammer

A dialogue between R and B

R. I think I’m going to hit myself in the head with a hammer.

B. [Alarmed] What?! Why?

R. Well, as you know, I’ve been in a rut lately. I just can’t get anything done. So I thought, “What have I got to lose?”

B. But — aren’t you worried about hurting yourself?

R. No, not really. Maybe I need a little pain. You know, shake up the system.

B. Surely there must be another way!

R. Like what? I’ve tried your suggestions before. And you keep telling me things are getting better. But I’m not feeling it.

B. I still don’t understand how the hammer is going to help.

R. I need something that will really make an impact.

B. But it will probably cause serious injury — even death!

R. How do you know? Have you tried it?

B. Well … no —

R. Then how do you know it’s so bad?

B. [Flummoxed] Um — it’s — uh — common sense?

R. Other people are saying it could work —

B. You can’t believe everything you hear —

R. And they seem sincere.

B. I’m sure they are sincere. That doesn’t make them right!

R. Yes, but they could be.

B. Of course, I can’t prove it’s impossible. But the risk seems pretty high, don’t you think?

R. What’s the saying, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”?

B. Uh — yeah …

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