Tag Archives: Parable

Not the Parable (Part 3) – Business Plan

What a Business Plan!

Kenneth and Norman were visionaries in business. They were sons of the poorer brothers of the Rice clan. They witnessed their fathers struggling to buy food. Both cousins decided they would not let their children go to bed hungry. They started to work as “delivery boys” for the family grocery business before they were even teenagers. Their fathers, who were the youngest brothers of the clan, started their grocery business selling local produce. Their business was totally dependant on the weather. Flood, drought, frost, or any natural disaster would devastate the local farmers and their business. They had to buy food from other villages. When food shortage occurred, their clan might not have money to buy the imported food. They might not be able to buy any food from neighbouring towns at all. Other Rice families in the clan often blamed them for the high food prices even though the cousins had no food themselves.

The cousins were the first to see that the Rice household needed to secure the food supply. They also noticed their relatives loved to buy a drink, called camellia, and expensive clothes which they bought from the Dragon family. Their desire for such exotic items created a willingness to go to the extent of being in debt.

The cousins asked their fathers to travel to the Dragon’s family to negotiate better prices for the merchandise. When they met the mother of the Dragon family, they were laughed out the door. The matriarch viewed them as juvenile, puerile, and unsophisticated and was stunned they would even dare to talk business with her. The father of the family was lackadaisical to their visit.

The Dragon family was self-sufficient at the time. They had enough productive land and sea to provide all they needed. Most importantly, the entire family was so complacent they did not feel the need to improve themselves.

The cousins went to the other younger children of the family and bought some goods so that they could bring them back to their store. The amount they could trade did not warrant their journey. They needed to trade a much bigger volume of food, camellia and clothes in order to sustain their business.

On their return journey, they figured out a plan. They needed to break the self-sufficient cycle of the Dragon. They had to create a product that the Dragon family members needed to buy. Moreover, they had to be the sole supplier of that product. Also, those who used the product had to come back repeatedly for the rest of their lives.

The product was papaver. It was an extremely addictive narcotic. The users had to come back for more. The scientists and doctors of the Rice clan told the cousins the ill effects of papaver. The substance was so dangerous that the clan were not allowed to use or even process it. The restriction did not bother the cousins at all. They marketed papaver to the children of the Dragon family as a natural health product to nurture longevity, bolster sex drive, fight disease, boost the immune system, advance spiritual consciousness, etc. The Dragons loved anything natural and organic. They believed in natural healing when they were sick. They were also highly spiritual. Many of them practised meditation to their gods. They were too naïve to accept all the claims of the marketing slogans provided by the Rice cousins.

Using papaver soon became a fashionable phenomenon. It was a status symbol because papaver usage meant they were health conscious, spiritual, and most of all, wealthy. Many of the Dragon children became addicted to papaver. They had to buy papaver daily for their addiction.

The cousins definitely created a demand. They exchanged an enormous amount of food, raw material, and clothes with the Dragon for papaver. They traded food for papaver with the Browns. They then shipped the best of the food, raw material and clothing back to their own family and made massive profits.

The cousins did not trust anyone else to ship their merchandise, especially the most profitable papaver. They built their own merchant navy, logistic control, harvesting, manufacturing and processing facilities for food, papaver, textiles, and retail operations. The KN Enterprise was formed as the parent holding company to oversee all their businesses.

In order to protect their business, they trained and hired an extensive security force along the trade routes and all their other related operations. The security force comprised of well-trained men, fully armed and highly disciplined.

They could not finance all these expansions so they found another cousin who was well connected with a well-heeled financier. Together, they formed the Brass Lyons Bank as their financial partner.

The cousins were not totally satisfied with their successful trading business. They wanted to expand their business to more territory.

To be continue…

© Ngok Yeung Lai. All rights reserved.


A Parable inspired by the Hong Kong Umbrella Protest

This is a parable. This may not fully describe the reality. The reality is even worse. This parable is not my original idea. I translated loosely from something I read on the internet.

There was one strict rule for anyone who stay in the study room in the library: one cannot make noise or talk.

A young girl was doing her homework in the study room. A muscular man came in and trying to rape the girl. He did not make any noise. The young girl was trying to fight him off and screaming for help.

Student A responded, “The study room is for those who come so that they can concentrate for their study. No matter what happened, she cannot make noise or scream and disturb others in the room.”

Student B responded, “I understand she has the right to ask for help. However, she is interfering others while she is exercising her right. I have the right to studying here without her screaming in this room. She is only thinking about herself when she is screaming for help. She is selfish.”

Student C responded, “Does she know that her screaming is disrupting my precious studying time? If I do not have enough time to study, I cannot get good grades. Then I cannot get a good job. Do you know how much will I make if I can get a good degree and a well paying job? I am losing money because of her screaming. We all suffer financially because of her screaming.”

Student D responded,” Look at her. She is wearing short skirt. Is she the ‘studying’ type? She is asking for it. What a trouble maker! She should not be here in the first place.”

Student E responded, “What is the use of screaming for help? We had girls being rape in this room before. The rapist was never caught. There is no use for screaming. It is just a waste of time. Would someone tell her no matter what she does, she has to first consider whether her screaming can help her situation. Her screaming cannot her now. She should just keep quite and obey the rules of the study room.”

Student F responded in Mandarin, “I think she has an alternate motive while she is screaming. I heard that someone saw her sitting next to a foreigner on the bus on the way here. She must be taking money from the foreigners and faking the incident here. The foreigners must have paid her to stage the rape scene and cause trouble. Her screaming disturbs our harmonious social order in this study room. She made us look bad and dread down our grades.”

At that moment, they looked at the rapist and noticed that he is the security official for the study room. He stood up and pretended nothing had happened.

He said solemnly, “I believe we all agree that we have to obey the rules of the study room. Those who use this study room have to remain quiet. You cannot scream and interfere other while you are in this room. The rules of this room is set up so we can keep an orderly studying space so all of you can make good grades and get good jobs so you can make more money. We all want prosperity.”

The rapist (security official) then turned and said to his victim, “I heard you scream for help. I understand your request for me to stop hurting you. I do have to remind you that you still have to be considerate. You have not respect the rule of the study room. You have not consider others in this room need to have a place to study. The rule of the study room is the foundation of our establishment. The benefit of the whole has be undermined by your screaming. You have severely disrupt the social order here. I have to arrest you and charge you with disorderly conduct.”