A modern-day parable

And it came to pass that one day a group of followers asked their Master: “Is not ours, among all the nations of the world, the one most ‘chosen by God’ as His own?”

To that, the Master answered them with this tale:

“There once was a land flowing with milk and honey, full of all the wonderful riches that nature can bestow, including plentiful mineral resources of oil, coal and natural gas. This land was also rich on its surface with many pristine flowing streams and rivers along with thousands upon thousands of bountiful lakes. In addition, this land’s animal life was abundant above all others while its trees and low-lying plant life were most lush, thanks to a rich and diverse soil which grew all things.

 “To this veritable Garden of Eden,” the Master said, “there came one day a people who immediately recognized their new home’s immense wealth and potential. In time, they populated its shores, fields, plains and mountains, in the process growing wealthy and strong thanks to the land’s great natural riches. As their numbers multiplied, they consumed more and more of their new home’s wealth to the extent that too often forests were erased from the hills and mountains, the waters were fouled by their cast-off waste and the air was clouded by their fires.

“Still, through it all, many of the nation’s peoples increased in wealth, thanks in part to their wise use of their land’s resources but, sadly, also due to their misuse of them. Too often, their dwellings grew over-large and too many in number; their influence among the rulers became considerable, and their monetary stores were such that they had much more wealth than was required of them to live securely.

“Meanwhile,” the Master continued, “there were other inhabitants of that land who struggled greatly because they had so little. Although these brothers and sisters worked hard, they earned little and their children frequently went to bed each night hungry. Too often ignored or even shunned by their wealthy kinsmen, they were told that their plight was of their own doing, that they profited little because of their unforgivable mistakes, lack of education and insufficient will to succeed.

“In many cases, these kinsmen of want were cast aside because of their parentage, the color of their skin, religious beliefs and station in life. They, in essence, were told to accept their lot and not to hinder the progress of those among them who were in pursuit of even more than what they already had or needed.

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