This story was originally by Dr Seuss but I just can’t find the title or the original book. I only remember the crux of the story. It was written for kids but it applies to us adults even more. This story is truly about communication and this is my adapted version:
The Yip is a fine creature covered in fine green fur. He has fine teeth, fine eyes and an even finer sense of direction. Ever since he could remember, he has followed his fine sense of direction and walked in a fine line. Never derailing, never swaying, never turning in any other direction. His fine eyes were set in his direction and life traveling this fine line was fine indeed. His fine heart yearned to walk to the north.
On the other side of the world there was the Yap. A wonderful creature he was! He had a wonderful smile, a wonderful blue coat of fur, a wonderful set of eyes and an even more wonderful sense of direction. Ever since his first memory, he has been walking this wonderful course; following this wonderful sense of direction and nothing will ever get in his wonderful way. Walking his path was the most wonderful thing to do and nobody is going to stop him. His wonderful heart desired to walk to the south.
Alas fate had it that if two creatures with such fine and wonderful sense of direction were to walk the earth, they would eventually meet, especially since one walked from the south to the north and the other walked from the north to the south. And so they met.
Said the Yip to the Yap, “Excuse me, I have to get to the north and you are in my fine way.”
“Excuse me, but I have been on this path to the south and you are blocking my wonderful path! Now if you don’t mind,” said the Yap to the Yip.
The Yip crossed his arms, raised his chin and replied with an air of privilege, “By no markings, sign or print does the path I’m on state about you nor your name. So if you don’t mind, please know your place.”
Tapping his foot and raising an eye brow, the Yap declared, “Ever since I was born my wonderful sense of direction has taught me the way life should be heading. You are definitely not on the right track, so turn around and go where we are all meant to be!”
Like a dance, both the Yip and the Yap bickered to and fro. The sun set and the pale moon rose. The Yip’s arms were still crossed and the Yap’s foot was still tapping impatiently. Time went by quickly especially when it has no where else to go. Both the Yip and the Yap grew weary yet their fine and wonderful senses told them they could not be wrong.
Suddenly the ground rumbled and the earth shook. Both the Yip and the Yap however were masters at standing firm and even though the ground shook and rumbled, they stood their ground.
Then the most remarkable thing happened. For when the earth stopped shaking, the Yip found his fine line of direction to be clear and the Yap found his wonderful path free of any Yips.
They looked at each other. Arms uncrossed and foot stopped tapping. A fine set of teeth opened into a wonderful smile. With a nod and a pat on the back, the Yip was on his way to the North and the Yap continued his way to the South.
Sometimes when we talk to people or work with people, we find ourselves being Yips and Yaps. It’s inevitable. Resentment grows and contempt breeds. We come to a stalemate and stagnate. Just as stagnated water turns toxic, so do relationships and working relationships. The question I would like to ask is, “Do you need to wait for an earthquake before you can get on your way?”