An Earthling dentist moved to the tiny planet Mixma. Jobs were scarce on Earth, and he'd heard of the booming economy on Mixma, with inhabitants of notoriously bad teeth. There were many jobs offers for dentists, so this Earthling decided to take advantage of the opportunity.
From the very beginning, he fell in love with his new planetary home. Maybe it was the clear air, the diverse cities, and the advanced technology. Or perhaps he just loved the exotic terrain and friendly people. I think it was all that and more.
Mixma was indeed desperate for dentists, and with his extraterrestrial qualifications, this Earthling got an interview right away.
During the interview, he was offered the position. The interviewer handed him a pamphlet detailing Mixma's dentistry procedures and laws.
One law had this dentist concerned. "Why am I required to give a bag of Earthling caramels and a toothbrush to each patient?"
"It's a government mandate on Planet Mixma."
"Isn't it counterproductive to clean their teeth and then give them a candy that will destroy their teeth?"
"Ah, yes, I've read of Earth's bias against caramels and other sweets."
"It's not a bias, it's just wrong. It's a scientific fact that caramels are one of the hardest candy on teeth."
"Here on Mixma," the interviewer explained, "we are more open-minded. We give equal representation to the toothbrush and the caramel. If you have a problem with the law, it's best you don't take the job."
While the dentist considered, the interviewer continued, "And by the way, you are not allowed to proclaim your anti-caramel propaganda while on the job. In fact, it's best you keep it to yourself off the clock as well. We had an Earthling before telling her patients not to eat the candy, and we had to let her go."
So, what do you think? Should the dentist take the job, even though he doesn't believe in handing out caramels to every patient?
What does the Parable Mean?
Not all parables are explained. I think this one, being a political parable, needs to be left open for interpretation. If you want a hint, how about this:
What in our society is forced on people against their personal judgement?
There is no wrong answer here, and there are unfortunately many right ones.
(P.S. I love caramels, but I am kind of glad my dentist isn't forced to give them to me every time I visit.)
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)