A traveller is lost in the dessert. The sun is beating down. His mouth is parched and dry. He is disoriented. In an effort to survive, he begins walking towards the only sign he can see – some mountains in the far distance.
After an hour of struggling through the sand, he comes across the tracks of a camel. He feels a sense of relief as this means that there is life out here. He begins to follow the camel tracks back.
After another hour walking alongside the camel’s tracks, he begins to see that every fourth footstep has a slight dragging shape – this camel is lame. This camel is lame in its left back leg.
He continues his walk and starts to see also that there are grains of rice that have fallen to the right side of the camel’s tracks. Our traveller thinks “Aha, this camel is carrying a load of rice, and the right side basket of the camel has a small hole in it”.
He continues and soon comes to a small village. In the central square there is a bustling market. In the midst of the market there is an old man who is shouting “has anybody seen my camel? It is my only possession. I am lost. Has anybody seen my camel?”. Nobody can help him – neither the traders in the market, nor the people who live in the village. The bustle of the square dies down a little and our traveller approaches the old man.
“Your camel – was it lame in the back right leg?”. The old man looks up and with a face growing in hope says “yes”. “Your camel – was it carrying a load of rice – and the right side basket has a small hole?”. The old man’s eyes are now bright with hope “You have seen my camel – I am saved. You have seen my camel.” Our traveller replies “I have not seen your camel but I know that he went that way”.
We all leave tracks in the sand. The choice we have is what type of tracks we leave.