Many years ago in Switzerland, ithere was an obvious social hierarchy. Jobs were not very common, and as a result, numerous people remained on the streets, hungry and homeless. There was little empathy for these underdogs by the wealthy because the rich were extremely egocentric, and they only worried about themselves and their possessions. The amount of gold one possessed represented the affluence of the individual.
The aristocracy never shared or even considered donating some portion of food or money to the less fortunate. A result of this selfishness was a distinct reparation of social groups that grew and continued to grow; the affluent remained affluent, as the needy grew needier. The Herculean attitudes of each social group rapidly developed, thus separating the people more than ever.
On occasion, the needy would break into riot and attack and burglarize the upper-class estates. When riots broke out, the indigents immediately went for the gold of the prosperous. The elite became infuriated when the riots became more frequent. They began to brainstorm ideas at scheduled meetings to prevent riots. Scores of ideas were generated, although none were terribly clever or worth pursuing.
As one meeting about to adjourn, an unfamiliar young man entered the meeting room and comfortably began to speak to the forum. He expressed his awareness of the social problem occurring in Switzerland, and thought he had a clever way to stop the pilfering.
The idea he stated was to avoid having their gold stolen. "Gold cannot be stolen if no gold is to be found," the young man stated as he suggested converting gold into another form, thus tricking the intruders. Everyone thought the idea of transforming their wealth was terrific. After everyone became excited and anxious to put the plan into action, they realized that they needed to find something into which they could convert their gold. It had to be completely subtle.
Again, the young man was ready to answer their questions; he suggested converting their gold into chocolate; (for he was a representative of a chocolate company, trying to do business while helping out the aristocrats). There was complete silence in the room because they had never heard of chocolate. He then elaborately described chocolate. He told them everything they ever wanted to know about it; everyone was educated and loved the idea. As quickly as possible, the elite exchanged all their gold for chocolate, and stored these mass quantities of smooth, mouth-watering delicacies in their pantries.
As predicted, the following week, another riot broke out by the penniless people. It didn't take much time for the needy to realize that all the gold was missing. Since they couldn't steal any gold, they decided to take something else to further express their anger. Although the needy were hungry and homeless, they were by no means dumb. The burglars quickly recognized the sweet aroma of delicious candy; the estates had mass quantities of chocolate, and so they stole as much as they could possibly carry.
After the riot, the upper class returned to their pantries to observe their chocolate and to laugh at the (so they thought) unsuccessful lower class. As each aristocrat realized that his chocolate had been taken, each became hysterical. The needy took the chocolate because they were starving and it tasted delicious, and because they figured if the elite thought it was worth having, especially in mass quantities, it was good enough for them.
Each aristocrat had been extremely proud of his wealth and treasured his money, even though it was in the form of chocolate. All of the needy loved the chocolate because it represented a successful riot, and because it tasted delicious, in addition to satisfying their hunger. Chocolate grew ever more popular among both social groups for completely different reasons; everyone loved chocolate. This love of chocolate has passed through generations as well as through continents and countries; everyone loves
chocolate, especially Swiss chocolate. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.