There was once a city with a special department dedicated to providing water to its inhabitants. The official water dispensers freely distributed fresh water. Some time ago these city officials had a large feud between those in the southern and northern regions of the city (the actual cause of the schism is not important for this story, but it was something about whether or not it was good to cooperate with the so-called Water Dispensing Officials in other cities; it all gets very confusing).

Now the calling of the watering officials was clear in the City Ordinances–they were to distribute the purest water they could to all who would take it. Unfortunately, the many of the people in the city either did not like or could not stomach pure water, and preferred soda pop. So, long before the schism between the north and south regions, a certain dubious official had noticed that if he mixed a bit of soda pop in with the water, more of the people in the city would drink it. Well, this soon became the standard way of serving water to the masses.

After the split between the north and south districts, however, the city’s residents’ stomach problems became worse. They more and more were not interested in the pop-water. The northern officials responded quite quickly, and began to add more soda and a more potent kind of soda to the water they were offering the masses. This outraged the southern officers. They condemned the North for its capitulating to the base desires of the populace. Many cried, “They have contaminated the water!” Hostilities grew between the two poles of the city. Northern officials criticized their southern counterparts for not really desiring to distribute their water to the city. The south believed the water of the North was more pop than water. “Ours is nearly completely pure water,” they proudly insisted. “With ours, you can still taste the water.” The pious South condemned the North vehemently. The Northern officials largely ignored this, simply pointing out the virtue of their intentions in making the water drinkable for the city’s inhabitants. The South merely dismissed their intentions.

One day an old man from the east region of the city (though not really the city, more the green and fertile hills just outside the city and to the east) wandered into the southern district. He was a lover of pure water, but outside the official structure of either mainstream south or north. He began to criticize the polluted water of the south, and some of the men specifically who produced the water-pop mixture for their consumption. The southern officials were indignant. “How can you criticize our water?” they asked.

“Because it is not good water. You have changed it by adding pop to it. It is not pure,” the old man replied.

This confused the southern officers. “But our heart and passion is to provide good water to the city and we are doing the best we can under the circumstances. How can criticize our men who are so faithfully mixing the water? Not all water has to be pure, otherwise the people would never drink anything. What right do you have to be so angry over the way we make water?”

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