One night, a match was struck and a flame started. The flame had to decide what to do with itself. There were three choices before it.
Near the match, there were many things that would burn: paper, curtains, cloth, and many other things that weren’t meant to be burn. The flame knew that setting itself on these things would make it grow large and exciting. However, it would burn out or be put out quickly.
The flame saw second choice. It saw a candle. The flame knew that if it burned on the wick that it would burn constantly, but only slightly brightly, and be ignored.
The third choice for the flame was to allow a draft to blow it out right on the match. If it could be big and bright and exciting, only to be put out; or constant, but unremarkable – then why not just go out now? Why not just get it over with?
The matchstick observed the flame’s doubt and had a suggestion. The matchstick suggested that the flame burn on the candle until it gets bored, and then jump on the curtains or newspaper or anything else that will burn big and bright and exciting.
The flame considered the suggestion. Then, it replied to the matchstick, “If I burn things in the room around me; I will be bright, exciting, and of no use to anyone. If I burn on the wick of the old candle, it may be brief – but I can be useful for as long as someone needs me. And if I’m careful and don’t burn hurriedly, someone else can use that same old candle again after I am gone.”
So, the flame was set on a candle that night allowing a little boy and girl to read each other a bedtime story.