I Believe You Are Right

by rjs
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Published on: June 21, 2011

I Believe You Are Right

Nasruddin and Fatima happened to be in the market when they spotted their neighbor Faik, the potter, bargaining loudly with Hamza, the miller. When Faik saw Nasruddin, he called to him, “Nasruddin, you are the local magistrate. Please — you must settle our dispute.”

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

Nasruddin and Fatima tried to duck around the corner, but it was too late to refuse. Faik said, “I will tell you my side first,” and so Nasruddin listened to him give his sales spiel about the excellent quality of his wares and why the price was quite reasonable — in fact, he was offering it at a considerable discount.

Nasruddin stroked his white beard thoughtfully, raised his right finger, and replied, “I believe you are right!”

Hamza then countered the vendor’s argument, pointing out the many flaws in the merchandise and citing lower prices at another stall elsewhere in the bazaar.

Nasruddin raised his left finger and said to his neighbor, “I believe you are right!”

Fatima interjected, “Nasruddin, don’t be ridiculous. They can’t possibly both be right!”

Nasruddin looked at his wife, raised both of his fingers, and said, “I believe you are right!”

Excerpted from The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero

Your Daily Nasruddin

When there seem to be only two sides to an argument, look closely: a third position may easily take shape before your very eyes. They say that between any two Israelis you will find three opinions; perhaps that is what this story illustrates. Or perhaps it is just advising that it is may be safest to agree with everyone, someone will eventually disagree with your decision to do so.

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