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Mullah Nasrudin and the athlete

An athlete came from the gymnasium to speak with Mullah Nasrudin. He said: “You are a wise man, now tell me you will help me—tell the men down in the town that an athlete with a fine body can be as intelligent as any scholar, he has just chosen to develop himself in another way and not to read books; he is just as serious, though.”

Nasrudin rose from his cushion, shook the crumbs from his beard, and said: “The athlete and the scholar are the same type—both play games.” “Explain,” said the athlete. “The athlete plays a game, say, called ‘football’—the crowds cheer, the teams change sides, and at the end of the year a team wins but then it starts over again; nothing is resolved. The scholar plays a game called ‘scholarship’; he criticises at the symposium, everyone changes their minds, and at the end of the year it starts over again; nothing is resolved. So you see, in neither case nothing is resolved and no serious action has occurred.”

“What does a serious man do then?” said the athlete.

“Drink tea,” replied Mullah Nasrudin.


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