Stories of Genies giving wary wishers the possibility of endless fortune or fame have been told for centuries. But what if you actually came across one of these wish granting creatures of lore? Not only do they sometimes trick people into making the wrong wish, some of them are downright devious. So how would one go about making the three best possible wishes?
While it may seem silly to some, those with a knowledge of mythology will understand why it’s a good mental exercise to outline just what might be the right and wrong thing to say. And if you have three wishes, it may be better to use one wish to know not only how to best use your other two wishes, but how to word it. Here’s one way to word that wish:
“Genie, I wish for a piece of paper written in a language I can understand and in print I can clearly read giving me the two wisest wishes I could make at this point in time. The paper should contain text giving me the wording of each wish in bold at the top with an explanation of precisely what will happen in italicized text beneath it. To remove any ambiguity over the definition of the word “wisdom” or precisely what this wish is for in this case (heretofore referred to as “the piece of paper,” or “the paper”) here are the parameters.”
Parameters for First Wish
Contents of the Paper
“1a. The wish should be immediately reversible if I so choose within a reasonable period of time returning things to a normal state (defined as requiring no more than 5 seconds of action to return things to “normal” if I choose). Normal as defined in this case is returning to a state of affairs indistinguishable from just before I made the wish with the exception of no longer having the wish to make over again and memory of the event alongside any other paradox inducing but unknown effects.”
“2a. The wish should not result in me regretting making the wish, and should not result in any harm to my own person or anyone I know or care about. It should not affect my consciousness in a negative way, and it should generally bestow a feeling that I have progressed toward my goals as a human being. In short, after each wish was made, I should generally be aware of the world that existed before I made the wish, and yet still feel that my life has improved significantly as a direct result of the wish read from the paper without the general livelihood of any around me suffering any ill effects.”
“3a. No sense of poetic or cruel irony should be involved in either the delivery method of the granted wish or by the results of the wish whatsoever if I should choose to read the contents of the piece of paper.”
“4a. The paper should be easy to read, relatively brief, and contain no poetic irony should the contents be read either aloud or silently. The paper should also contain the appropriate words in language that can be understood by me and contain no language that leaves any possibility of a dangerous or in any other way detrimental outcome to the reader regardless of the Genie’s interpretation.”
“5a. The paper should appear somewhere nearby in an easy to access space and should appear spontaneously as if by magic in a way that does not result in any other phenomenon (such as intense heat, light, radiation, fields that induce any form of paradox or memetic influence, or anything that may harm or adversely affect anyone near or distant to it) and do so in a quiet and generally pleasing manner. The paper should remain in this space and neither the appearance of the paper nor the presence or any related phenomenon thereof should adversely harm or affect anyone directly or indirectly related to any effect in either this wish or any future wishes to be made.”
“6a. The paper itself should not be sentient or in any other way different than a normal piece of paper. Its dimensions should be 11″ in length, 8 1/2″ in width, and 0.004” in thickness. The text should be in size 12 “Times New Roman” font in black ink made from carbon which adheres to the paper as if administered by a typewriter. The text should not be sentient or harmful in any way and should be made of non-radioactive black carbon. The weight of the text on the paper should be negligible.”
Desired Results of Text on the Paper.
1b. The results should significantly improve both my perceived circumstances and/or the perceived circumstances of others (increasing such aspects of life such as abilities, wealth, perception of social standing, intelligence, spiritual understanding, and general sense of wellbeing) while not adversely affecting the circumstances of others (should not decrease the abilities, wealth, perception of social standing, intelligence, or general sense of wellbeing.)”
“2b. No harm should come to anyone either directly or indirectly as a direct or indirect result of the wish being made. This includes an understanding of the circumstances and future actions of others involved directly with the changes taking place as a result of this and all other future wishes, but also takes into consideration the intentions of the genie.”
“3b. The clear and concisely worded wish on the paper should clearly outline what will happen as a direct and indirect result of the subsequent wishes, and what will be beneficial to the wisher with no omitted ill effects or benefits. The entirety of the good shall be made on the document with each potential bad outcome outlined as well.”
With that in mind, Genies are notoriously difficult to bargain with when their intentions are evil. If you were to happen on a mythical lamp with a genie, it may have been just as risky to make any wish (no matter how concrete the contract was). And being thorough isn’t necessarily a guarantee. Absurd? Perhaps, but keep in mind that the Genie and the Djinn are still creatures of mythology, and you certainly never know.