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Three Prisoners, Three Years

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Once upon a time, three criminals were sent to jail for three years each. The prison guard felt pity for them, so he asked them, “Since you’re going to be here for three years, is there any one thing I can provide you to make your time here better?”

The first man asked for cigarettes. The second man asked for a woman. The third man asked for a telephone. The jail guard gave each man what they asked for and then shut their doors. After three years, the prison guard went to open their doors.

When the guard opened the door to the first prisoner’s room, the prisoner rushed out saying, “Where’s my lighter? You didn’t give me a lighter!” For those three years, all this prisoner thought about was how he couldn’t smoke his cigarettes. The guard felt sorry for this man’s being a slave to his bad habits.

When the guard opened the door to the second prisoner’s room, no one came out, but he heard the sound of crying babies. The prison guard felt ever more pity for this man. Before, he only had himself; but now, he has a family that he cannot take care of, so even more people have to suffer.

When the guard opened the door to the third prisoner’s room, the man walked out proudly and said, “Thank you for the phone. I used the phone to keep connected to the outer world. I learned from my wrongdoings, and I will improve. I even made some investments in preparation of my exit.” The guard was very happy for this man.


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