Parable from Malcolm Margolin

Twenty-five years ago today I was starting as associate editor at Automobile after struggling to publish my own newspaper, and Malcolm Margolin, the publisher of Heyday Books, in Berkeley, sent this:

Dear Ronald:

Sounds like a big change.

There’s an old story about a man whose house was crowded and life miserable. He went to a rabbi for advice. “Get a cow and keep it in the living room,” advised the rabbi. The man returned in a month to complain that the house was even more crowded and his life more miserable. “Get a horse and keep it in the bedroom.” The man did so and returned to the rabbi after a month to complain even louder. “Get a goat and keep it in the kitchen.” Another month and the man returned to say that he was going crazy, things were getting worse and worse, and he was never so miserable in his entire life. “Get rid of the cow, the horse, and the goat,” advised the rabbi. The man did. When he next saw the rabbi, he looked relaxed and smiled. “My life is bliss,” he said.

Who knows, after running your own newspaper perhaps a job with a magazine will be bliss. I hope so.

Warmest regards,

Malcolm Margolin


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