One early morning, the milkman is bewildered to find a court summons hanging on his door. He was an honest man who always behaved as such. He never cheated, lied or stole anything. He had no idea why he was summoned to court. But the baker knew.
The baker used to buy butter and cheese from the milkman for his business. One day he suspected that the lumps of butter that the milkman sold him were under five pounds - even though the milkman insisted that each was exactly five pounds. The baker decided to check out the matter and for a period he consistently weighed every lump of butter that he bought from the milkman. He discovered that they were in fact less than five pounds. Sometimes they were four pounds, sometimes they were four-and-a-half pounds, and once one was even three pounds.
The baker was angry. "Cheating me!" he told his wife angrily, "I am not going to be quiet about it." He went to the local court and complained about the milkman. "We have to prosecute him," said the baker, "we can't let him cheat all the villagers; people trust this crook!"
Later that day, the court messenger hung a notice on the milkman's house inviting him to court. The milkman arrived at the court shaking with fear. He had never been to a courthouse and had never spoken to a Judge. The Judge evoked a sense of fear amongst the villagers.
"I assume you have a very accurate scale in your dairy," said the Judge to the milkman.
"No your honor, I do not have a scale," said the milkman.
"So how do you weigh the butter? Do you just guess that it is ten pounds?"
"No G-d forbid, your honor; I am an honest man; it never occurred to me to do something like that. Very simply I built myself a scale—the kind that needs a weight on one side to balance the butter on the other."
The Judge nodded his head, and the milkman continued. "Every morning when I come to weigh the butter for the baker, I place five pounds of bread on one side of the scale. This way I know that the butter that I will give to the baker will be exactly five pounds."
"So," says the Judge, "you're telling us that the amount of butter that you give the baker is exactly the weight of the loaf of bread he supplies to you?"
"That is exactly it!" exclaimed the milkman.
The baker's face fell. You see, the baker’s scale was dishonest; the five pounds of bread he was weighing each morning to give to the milkman were not truly five pounds. And that is exactly what came back to him.
How true this is with many of us. We judge people based on who we are. And what we put out to people is what comes back to us. In life, we end up eating the cake which we have baked.