If you know the solution, you’re a philosopher. He had an opportunity to go away, but he didn’t.
In the well-known parable “The Prisoner and the Bread,” a prisoner is left alone in a room. In front of him are two different options that he has to choose from – a loaf of bread or a key to his escape.
It seemed difficult for him to choose because he didn’t know how to use the key or why it was there in the first place. He carefully considered his options before deciding to take the loaf of bread.
One is supposed to carefully evaluate the best decision when given two possibilities.
These choices become more crucial for prisoners since they may determine their survival.
Why a prisoner would select bread over a key to escape captivity has recently been the subject of great discussion. This intriguing conundrum was first addressed by the Greek philosopher Plutarch in antiquity. Since then, it has baffled a lot of people, including me.
It comes down to survival instinct as to why a prisoner might pick bread over a key. Even though the key provides a way out of shackles, that doesn’t necessarily mean freedom and safety await you on the other side.
The likelihood that the escape will be unsuccessful increases if no strategy is in place to help people get past any guards or walls that stand in their way.
Contrarily, bread offers quick sustenance and can offer some solace in a trying circumstance, which the key cannot do on its own.
Escaping captivity may be a prisoner’s ultimate aim, but their immediate need for nourishment may take precedence over their long-term goal of obtaining freedom, which may account for why they choose bread over a key. Bread serves as both food and money, which can be used to bribe guards and compensate for some of the challenges involved in escape planning. Considering risks and advantages, bread seems to be the more sensible choice overall.
While the decision between bread and a key ultimately comes down to personal circumstances and desired results, whatever the decision, it can always be good to be aware of one’s own limitations and make use of the resources that are accessible.