The well and the witch

By: EDUARDO OLIVEIRA COSTA

Eduardo Oliveira Costa is a journalist and publisher of several newspapers across Portugal. He is on the board of several organisations, is president of a football club, and has a keen interest in the press, among other media, and the business environment.

A DISILLUSIONED man said: “I have a small business in a sector that is always being targeted by the inspectors of the Finanças (Finance office): I supply for the building sector. I persisted in doing everything correctly and declaring all income properly…”

But, according to him, it seems that it was not the best of ideas: because the Finance office has a table of income for the sector, the people who the Finanças are not suspicious of are those whose accounts are perfectly in line with the table’s figures.

So, because this friend decided to do everything by the rules, he is probably the only one who is unable to convince the inspectors that his results are correct!

Now, the disillusioned man says: “If I do everything correctly and sleep with a clear conscience, I do not fit inside the table for the sector, the inspectors come after me and force me to pay what I do not owe! If I make up the accounts, I will not feel good about myself and I will feel vulnerable.

This story is similar to that of the witch who poisoned the water in the well, so that everyone in the kingdom would go mad; but the king was the only one who didn’t go mad because he had his own well. His subjects quickly decided that he had gone mad because he didn’t think like them!

I feel like giving a piece of advice to this friend: Look man, don’t bother with those modern ideas and just drink the water from the poisoned well!

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