Hello there. Gary Klugiewicz here. I just got this e-mail about conflict resolution and wanted to share it with you. The story and comment are amazing. Leigh Ann, thanks for sharing it with me.

For all those who read this message, think about sharing your thoughts with us. Your messages are too important not to share with others. Think about it.


Dear Gary,

A colleague sent the following story to me which I thought would be perfect for you, especially considering the current sociopolitical circumstances in our country today. If you have heard of it before, please disregard otherwise please feel free to use it at your discretion.


The 18th Camel

There was a father who left 17 camels as the inheritance for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will.

The will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third). The youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the 17 camels.

As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other. So, the three sons decided to go to a wise man.

The wise man listened patiently about the will. The wise man, after giving this thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.

Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will. Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels.

1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels.

1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels.

Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17, and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took away.

The attitude of conflict resolution and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the 18th camel, the issue is resolved.

It is difficult at times. However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any!

Best wishes, Leigh Ann Maxwell