The Gluttons

The Gluttons

A quick parable.

There is a feast on two boats and everyone is invited. Really there are two feasts and both are being held side by side on two different boats.

The first one is a somewhat sedate experience. The catering a little simple in terms of flavours but it will be running all night long. While you cannot stuff your face, in time over the night with the various courses you will be satisfied.

The second is a massive festival of food, a veritable phantasmagoria of flavor and excess. The finest roasts, sweets and options available are there for the taking. But beware, the chef has finished for the night and will not be coming back as they will be staying on shore. What you see is what you get. Best in best dressed.

So you have two options in front of you. You have to choose which one is the best fit for you but once you have picked then you cannot change to the other feast. The boats are too far to swim between and you have to make do.

Do you go to the first feast? It is perfectly satisfactory if a little unambitious at least in comparison to the second feast. If you want a drink you have to get it yourself.

Or do you indulge yourself on the second boat? Stuff your face as full as possible as quickly as possible before everyone else gets in on it and you all run out of food.

On the first boat is a sense of responsibility and while not the nicest meal, you are kept in good company and know that being paced you will not go hungry – the chef is on all night and will dole out the treats in due time even if they are a little small.

The second is liable to see the more greedy side of mankind come out, there will those that take far beyond their needs simply because they fear they will run out; and yet in this process they will be the sole cause of this from happening. Those that take more than required simply to prove that they can do it and laud it over others.

These people are 'The gluttons'.

It will be a wild night of excess but it will come to an end all too soon. You could be left hungry by the end as one can only eat so much. You could be one of those people who thinks they can become one of the gluttons as well and try to convince themselves and others that they have a place at the table, only to be left with nothing. This is a boat that looks wonderful on the outside but the truth is one that is unbearable for most to be on.

The first boat may be humble but they do not worry about seeing everyone feed, everyone is looked after even if a bit plain. The second boat is a statue to excess, to ignore the dwindling food pile until it is either completely gone or people are fighting over the last scraps on the table.

The boat you choose at the beginning is the one you will ride until the very end. There is no wrong choice but you must accept the outcome.


This is a very simple allegory for resource use. Food can be anything from energy, water, metal etc. The only difference between the two groups is the people that get on the various boats. Their goals and ambitions are such a powerful driving force that can illuminate both the best and worse of humanity.

I for one would like to choose the first boat, many others do not.

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