The Donkey and the Gem

The following post is an example of the ethical principle of blog “The Letter of the Law vs. The Spirit of the Law.

A sage bought a donkey from a merchant. 

One student of the sage, upon inspecting the donkey, found a precious stone under the saddle. The student said, “My teacher, you are now rich.” 

The sage said, “No,” and explained that he only bought the donkey not the precious stone. 

However, the local law stated that the sale included the donkey, saddle, rein and everything pertaining to the donkey. The law did not require the buyer to return the gem. 

The sage clearly felt the precious gem was not part of the donkey and related accessories.

When the sage returned the gem, the merchant was amazed, and offered a blessing.  

Ethics is Smart Business.


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