14 May, 2012


From the Presidents library: “The Magic of Science”

There once was a man named Fool.

Fool lived in this world in the same way as any animal. Without care and without thought. He was happy but far from wise. Fool likely would have lived his life happily in his village, having children, playing games and coming home drunk on weekends.

But this particular year was difficult. The rains were sporadic and the winds blew hot from the south, killing all of the crops.

Fool asked his wife what to do.

“Just work,” she said, “the Gods will care for us.” Not feeling satisfied with the answer, Fool asked his elders what to do.

“Don't do anything, “ the elders said, “if you are worried that some may die, perhaps it is the will of nature.”

Not satisfied with that answer either, Fool left the village and promised to return with food.

Fool wandered for days until he had reached the limits of his homeland. He met others on the road who only laughed at him and called him “naive”.

Fool asked the animals for food, but they did not help him. He prayed to the sky for rain, but it did not answer. He walked until he came to the sea. But then he had nowhere else to go.

Feeling pity for Fool, a man who lived by the sea took Fool to his island, showed Fool the fruit and fish that was there and then went on his way.

Fool ate and ate until he was sick, and then he cursed God for making him sick. From then on he vowed to not eat so much and to test the food he did eat to avoid sickness.

From then on he vowed not to pray to God but to ask other people for help.

In this way, Fool began to use his mind.

After talking to many people, Fool learned how to make a boat. And after observing the sky, Fool learned how to read the stars in the sky. He stopped talking to Gods and reading dreams completely.

After many months, he returned to the village, well fed, while his neighbors and family were starving. He brought fruit and seeds and maps and more.

The people, seeing this wonderful things thanked the Gods and knelt to pray. Seeing this, Fool was furious.

“Do not thank the Gods! “ he yelled, “If you want to thank someone, thank ME! I picked this fruit and I plucked these seeds!”

The people were astonished, but then they bowed before Fool, and they renamed him Sage.

A few did not believe that he had made the maps or collected all of the fruit himself. To these people he showed them his gift of fire, which amazed and scared the people. In this way, a fool became a sage and a superstitious village became a scientific one.

In this way, they left the old gods behind to become Gods themselves.

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