Author's note: This is a children's story I wrote a while back, which teaches a very important life lesson that none of us got to learn as kids. That lesson is extremely important, so all the adults here should pay attention too. I'll explain more of the nitty gritty details of the underlying theory behind it later.
Ivan was very angry.
His teddy was stolen.
He would catch the thief and steal from them.
"This will pay them back," said Ivan. "Serves them right."
Goldie was very happy.
It was her birthday.
Her papa gave her a teddy.
She would give a gift to her papa in return.
"It was nice of him to give me a teddy," said Goldie.
"This is the least I can do."
The next day, her teddy was gone.
Minnie was very sad. Someone was stealing teddies from her friends.
She looked at her teddy.
Would she be next?
Minnie decided. She would find the stolen teddies.
And she would return them.
"It's the right thing to do," said Minnie.
"This way, no one will be missing their teddies. Not anymore."
The next day, her teddy was gone.
Maxie felt guilty, but hopeful.
Earlier, his mama told him something sad.
"The other neighborhood is poor.
Kids there don't have teddies."
So Maxie decided.
He would steal teddies from his friends. He would give them to the other neighborhood.
"It's the best thing I can do," said Maxie. "My friends can afford new teddies. But the poor kids can't."
So Maxie stole teddies from his friends,
and gave them to the other neighborhood.
This made the kids there happy.
But his friends were sad, because now THEY had no teddies.
The next day,
the sad kids went with their parents to the teddy store,
to buy them new teddies.
But the store was all sold out of teddies.
"It's been hard to sell teddies in this town," said the store clerk. "Many poor people can't afford them. And many rich people already have teddies."
"Why not give teddies to the poor?
For free?" asked Maxie.
"We tried that before," said the clerk.
"It didn't work.
A long line of people came for teddies.
Many poor people can't afford cars.
When they got here, they were last in line. Then they got to the front of the line.
But by then, we were out of teddies."
"Then why give teddies to the rich?" asked Minnie.
"Can't you tell them no?"
"Other rich people paid us to give teddies for free.
They can't do that all the time.
"We have to sell to the rich, too.
Otherwise, we can't afford to make teddies.
"Why not?" asked Goldie.
"We have to pay for the stuff to make the teddy," said the clerk.
"Why can't you just get that stuff for free?" asked Maxie.
"Then you could give teddies, without being paid."
"Maxie," said Maxie's mama. "There aren't enough teddies for everyone.
There isn't enough stuff to make that many."
Maxie began to cry.
"I wanted to make more people happier," he said.
"I thought by giving teddies to poor kids, I could make more of the town happier. There are more kids in the poor neighborhood.
And they had no teddies."
"YOU stole our teddies!" Ivan accused. "You should be punished.
Someone should steal a teddy from you."
"I'm sorry!" said Maxie.
"I don't have any teddies.
I gave them to the kids in the other neighborhood."
"Maybe if you asked nicely, they would return our teddies?" asked Goldie.
"No," said Minnie.
"They would feel the same way we did, when the teddies were stolen from us.
They don't know the teddies were stolen.
If we tell them, they won't know we're telling the truth."
No one was sure what to do.
Finally, Maxie said,
"We need to find a way to make more stuff.
That way, there will be enough to make teddies for everyone."
"And if we can't do that?" asked Minnie.
"I don't know," said Maxie.
"But we have to try!"
"Why should we help everyone?
The poor kids have never helped us," said Goldie.
"What else can we do?" asked Minnie. "We can't steal the teddies back."
"The poor kids didn't do anything wrong!" said Ivan. "We shouldn't punish them!"
"Maybe if we find a way to make more stuff," said Maxie.
"the poor kids will have enough to give you something, in return."
"Okay," said Goldie. "I'll help."
The kids talked.
The parents looked at each other.
"Do you think they can do it?" asked Goldie's papa.
Ivan's mama laughed.
She thought it was a joke.
Minnie's papa sighed sadly.
And Maxie's mama turned to the kids and said:
"If you're kind and just,
understanding and giving.
If you listen to each other, and to others.
If you work hard and do your best.
If you learn, grow and become stronger.
If you are brave, and never give up.
Then, maybe, you will find a way."
They would find a way to make more stuff. Someday.
And so they began their quest.