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Fire within, Fire without

Before me blazed an inferno.

Such things draw men out.

First came a man with a can of kerosene;

he poured it out over the ground.

I asked him why he would do such a thing.

He said, “If I cannot stop the flame then I can speed it up; and, perhaps, it might end sooner”.

Then he poured the rest of the can on himself,

and became engulfed.

Then came a man with a bucket of water;

he poured it out over the flame.

I asked him why he would do such a thing.

And then, weeping, he took out his coat, and beat the flame with all of his strength.

Then he poured all of himself on the flame,

and became engulfed in his work.

I asked him why he even tried;

truly, the blaze could not be stopped.

He said, “No, the fire will not stop by itself, and my beating will not stop it either.

But when I consider the fire within and the fire without, who am I if I do not fight against it”.

So, I took off my jacket, and together we wept and fought the flame.

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