The 18th Camel

How a single story can help you arrive at an elegant solution

Mitch Ditkoff
4 min readJan 22, 2023

Storytelling is the swiss-army knife of transformational catalysts. Told well, it can be used to build community, inspire, delight, transmit tacit knowledge, share wisdom, educate, inform, change behavior, and spark elegant solutions.

The following story (a re-telling of a classic tale), accomplishes many the above, but is primarily about sparking elegant solutions. When you come to the end of it, I invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on the questions that follow.

The 18th Camel

Once upon a time, in Egypt, there was a much beloved camel merchant named Hamid. Hamid was known throughout the land as not only a connoisseur of fine camels, but a kind-hearted, generous, and wealthy gentleman. So, when, on one particularly scorching summer day he had a sudden heart attack and fell off his camel, the entire country went into mourning.

In no time at all, thousands of people gathered at his estate for the funeral and celebration of his life.

When the gathering was over, Hamid’s Chief Executor sat down with the camel merchant’s three sons for the ritual reading of the will.

The boys were stunned by the size of their inheritance, but of all the treasures…

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Mitch Ditkoff

Co-Founder of Idea Champions, Face The Music & Sage Catalysts. Author of Storytelling for the Revolution, Storytelling at Work, Unspoken Word and Free the Genie