A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman for it. She gave it to him without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”
I don’t know why I like this so much. Maybe it’s the giving season. Maybe it’s because it’s late at night and I just happened upon it. Maybe it’s just that things seem to be looking up for me right now and that gets me thinking about what money means and everything. Maybe it’s a combination of all those things.
But living at a time when so many people are materially driven. At a time also when money seems to be tight for so many people. That combination adds pressures and stresses that weren’t there before. And that don’t really need to be there. Maybe it just feels good to be reminded that there are many more important things in this life than money. More important than the things that money can buy and provide.
I think it’s natural to want material things. I’m not trying to tell you to lessen your wants. I don’t think that’s really possible. You must take away your perceived ‘need’ of those material things. When you finally get something that you feel like you’ve needed…you are relieved more than anything. And if it’s some material item, eventually you will be let down, or disappointed in what you got. When you get something you really want…you’ll be appreciative and thankful. That’s a big difference.
Here is to hoping that we all carry that understanding with us every day throughout the rest of our lives. It makes for a happier you and me. It makes for a better world.