The Border between “Logic” and “Love for Others”

Alireza Zare
5 min readAug 17, 2021

The Fourth Stitch Principle: A Story from my Grandfather

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

‘Long ago,’ my grandfather said one day, ‘before the introduction of mass production and the advent of shoe factories, people had to go to shoemakers to make them shoes.’

As a child, I always loved to know about what life was like when my grandfather was a child. He was a great storyteller and, no doubt, a wonderful master for me.

Among his many grandsons, I was probably the only one who would enjoy his company, counting seconds for him to take me far back in time, and he was well aware of that.

‘It took time to have a pair of shoes made, and it often cost a fortune.’ He continued. ‘That’s why most people would wear a pair of shoes for quite some time. When there was a tear in their shoes, they often had them repaired. The shoemaker would fix their shoes for some money. A few stitches would do the trick. Then, they could wear them for a couple of more months.’

‘I have 5 pairs of shoes.’ I interrupted him.

‘You’re lucky, son.’ He said with a gentle smile on his face, and continued:

‘One day, a man took his shoe to a local shoemaker and asked him to fix it for him.’

The shoemaker examined the shoe and said, ‘Nothing serious, it needs three stitches only, and then it would look perfect.’

‘How much are you going to charge me for those 3 stitches?’ The man asked.

‘Well, 10 cents for each, 30 cents in total. Leave the shoe with me. Come and pick it up before noon.’ The shoemaker replied.

‘The man left the shoe with the shoemaker, paid him 30 cents, and left.’ My grandfather said, ‘The shoemaker started to repair the shoe. Stitch one, stitch two, stitch three and….’

‘… And the shoe looked as good as new.’ I said.

‘Well, yes and no.’ My grandfather reacted. ‘The shoe looked fine with those three stitches. However, another more stitch was needed to get it perfectly fixed.’

‘The shoemaker wondered, ‘Oh, no. We agreed on 3 stitch for 30 cents, and now it needs one extra stitch. What am I going to do?’