Some renowned wise men challenged Nasruddin to a contest. Nasruddin agreed, provided he could ask the first question.
This was his question: What is bread?
The wise men wrote their answers on pieces of paper. Nasruddin then read their answers aloud:
Bread is made with flour and water.
Bread is my favorite food.
Bread is a gift of God.
Bread is delicious.
Bread is baked in an oven.
Bread is the staff of life.
Nasruddin sighed. "These supposed wise men cannot even agree what bread is! Why then should we listen to what they say about matters of real difficulty?"
Inspired by: The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah, free to read online at the Idries Shah Foundation.
Notes: This is story 23 in the book. Compare Nasruddin disputing a philosopher without using words: The Philosopher's Pan of Baklava.