Stories From the Old Attic
The Second Greatest Commandment
A man was out shoveling the excess gravel off his driveway and into the graveled road that ran by his house. A neighbor happened to be walking by just as the man tossed a shovel full down the road the opposite way the man used to drive in and out. "I see you aren't messing up the part of the road you use," sneered the neighbor.
A few minutes later another neighbor happened by and saw the man toss a shovel full of gravel down the other part of the road. "I see you are fixing only the part of the road you use, and not the part others must use," sneered the second neighbor.
The shoveler stood still with a shovel full of gravel as the second man left. Now unsure of what to do with it that would be agreeable to his neighbors, he decided simply to dump it out onto his driveway on the very spot whence he had scooped it up. Just as he did so, a third neighbor happened to be walking by. "I see you are stealing gravel from the road for your driveway," sneered the third man. "People like you are what's wrong with this country."
At this point the homeowner put his shovel away and sat down with his pipe to contemplate these occurrences. Pretty soon a neighbor from further down the street drove by and saw the man sitting down enjoying his pipe. "If you weren't so lazy, you'd shovel some of that gravel off your driveway and back onto the road where it belongs," the driver sneered as he drove away, spinning his tires and scattering gravel in every direction.
- 1992 Robert Harris
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