Marbles And Sweets



I spent last weekend in Beijing as a speaker at an event for selected students of Peking University, and as a facilitator in their small group discussions. I was asked to speak on the topic of “Life of Integrity”, which I began with a story on sweets and marbles:

“There was this boy who had a great collection of marbles and this girl with her collection of sweets. Each looked at what the other had and was envious. So they agreed on an exchange:  the boy to give the girl his marbles, and the girl to give her sweets.

On the night before the exchange, the boy went through his marbles to pack them off in a bag.  He came across a marble which was particularly attractive. He decided to hide it under his bed.  Then he came across another marble, and again decided to hang on to it.  He packed off the rest of his marbles.

The girl also went through her sweets and put them all into a bag for the next day.

The day of the exchange arrived.  Each gave to the other what had been packed.

That night, the girl was so happy with her new collection of marbles. She went off to a pleasant sleep. 

The boy looked at his collection of sweets and said, ‘I wonder whether she had given me all her sweets.’ He could not get to sleep, weighed down by the thought that the girl might not have been honest with him.”

Thus ends this story about integrity: Oftentimes, what we wonder of others is basically a reflection of ourselves. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the wonderful golden rule taught by Jesus Christ. “Do not do unto others what you would not want them to do unto you” is the wisdom of Confucius.

Integrity runs in the veins of those who want to have peace of mind in a trusting relationship with others.

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