The Goldsmith and an Old Man
There was an old man who went to a goldsmith and said, “May I use your scales to weigh my own gold?” Goldsmiths keep very sensitive scales. The goldsmith replied: “Sorry, sir, I don’t have a sieve.” “Don’t make fun of me, “ said the man: “I asked for your scales, not
a sieve.” “I don’t have a broom either,” the goldsmith said. “Come on,” said the man impatiently, “Don’t play deaf.” “I am not playing deaf, my good man, and I heard everything you said.” Then the goldsmith explained: “Your hands are shaking with old age and your gold is in tiny bits and pieces. When you start weighing, you’ll scatter them on the floor. Then you’ll ask for a broom to pick them up. And
then, to separate the gold from the dust and dirt, you’ll ask for a sieve.” How would you describe the wisdom of this goldsmith?