A few months ago I posted four short stories that undergraduate students in my class wrote.
In response to these stories, some readers proposed their own short stories, and today I am posting the fist of these:
Here is “Five Sundays,” By Jamey Stegmaier
Dan–Thanks so much for posting that story! I had completely forgotten about that. :) It was my attempt to write a fable of sorts, which I had not attempted before. It’s a quick read–maybe 3-4 minutes.
Just to remind readers, the theme for which Dan asked stories was “fictional short stories or experiences of irrational behaviors.”
[…] Today I was reading his blog, and lo and behold, he published my story!!! […]
Love it! Reminds me of California
I forgot feedback for yr book…
It provide to me to think think think ask ask ask and answered how to avoid firms traps.
And sometimes I laughed so much:) to myself(my behaviour according to your resaerc) and your stories.
Again thank you so much…
That was really moving! Wow, nice job Jamey!
Great story, I loved it!
Alright… I’m not afraid to say it.
I don’t get it.
(spoilers below. You’ve been warned.)
I mean, I *understand* it all — how it was nerve-wracking the first time, how it got easier, how he got overconfident, how he blew it. How he was desperate for another chance. How those five weeks were legendary in peoples’ minds. It all hangs together, it all makes sense (in a parable-like way).
But then I get lost on the last two paragraphs. Why are crumbling walls and broken computers his legacy? How did he ‘set the parish back’ (which I am reading as ‘retard its progress’) for years?
The only thing I can think of is that people were blaming him for ending the gravy train… but the story makes pains to say that the arrangement had been kept secret, so that doesn’t make sense.
Can someone (perhaps the author) explain what I’m missing?
I’m with Bookrat. Can’t figure out how it was a net loss for the church.
This story just reminds me of why Gods word repeatedly tells His children to trust in Him and Him alone and human nature is what it is.
@Bookrat and @Chaon
I believe the reason it was a net loss is that by responding to the incentive of more money, the pastor worked hard and continually improved his sermon to earn more and more income. This short term gain also brought longer term obligations that are not immediately apparent during ‘hot pursuit’ of the sort term gains. The story highlights how we irrationally pursue a short term gain without contemplating its long term implications or sustainability.
I though it was almost a metaphor for today’s banking crisis. Investment bankers pursued short term loans for an immediate improved bottom line with no regard for the long term implications of their actions.
Please correct me if I am wrong Dr. Ariely.
I would also like some more clarification on the ending. The only thing I can think of, is that the pastor made some debts:
“The down payment dipped a bit into the following week’s projected earnings, but he wasn’t concerned.”
As the projected earnings didn’t come. But I doubt that was the point.
[…] published my short story, a fable, on his blog, which is read by tens of thousands of […]
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Hi, I’m Dan Ariely. I do research in behavioral economics and try to describe it in plain language. These findings have enriched my life, and my hope is that they will do the same for you.
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