In Mangoland, where mangos were the currency of trade, a bushel of the golden beauties was equivalent to $1 million in our money. Johnny, an up-and-coming Mangoland executive, was desperate to use his skills and experience to acquire mangos – to consume and to hoard. The orchards were owned by Mangotycoons, Mangolords and Mangopreneurs. One night, as he dreamed of mangos, he had a vision. He did not realize that this vision was about to change his life.
A white-bearded man with a halo, asked in a soft echoing voice, “Do you want mangos?”
“Oh yes!” Johnny replied.
“Come,” said the man, transporting Johnny miraculously to a magnificent mango orchard.
“Wow!” Johnny gasped, taking in the endless acres of luscious fruits, hanging within reach.
“Start your journey by caring for this tree,” said the man, pointing to a sapling that bore the fruits of Johnny’s desires, “With your skills and commitment, it will grow to give you many delicious mangos. Then, you may be called upon to serve other trees that too will share their fruits with you.” With these words, the man disappeared as mysteriously as he had arrived.
Alone in the orchard, Johnny was trapped between commitment to care for the tree and his uncontrollable desire for mangos. Casting commitment and honor aside, he set upon harvesting the orchard, keeping a wary eye for the man. The man never appeared, and Johnny continued to build a heap of mangos large enough to lay on. Soon, exhausted and hungry, he started to devour the fruits of his labor. He ate and he ate, until he fell asleep. Even in his dreams, he was devouring mangos, crouching and hoping he was not being watched.
When he awoke, Johnny did not know how long he had slept. Reaching out for another mango, he shrieked in horror. The heap on which he lay had become a rotting, stinking, bug-infested mess, and there was no tree in site.
How does this parable shed light on Corporate Greed? Can you compare Johnny with executives who have ruined their firms by unethical practices – driven by taking rather than serving and giving. How does this story relate to life?
The Parable of the Mango Tree is an excerpt from “The Mango Tree,” a short story on purposeful action for children, by Prem Chopra, Brook of Life Press, Copyright 2009 by Prem Chopra, all rights reserved.