The Miser and his Lump of Gold
Aesop, twenty-six hundred years ago, told the story of the miser who sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in the ground. He went to look at it every day. One day, the lump of gold was stolen and the miser was distraught. A neighbour, learning of his grief, suggested that he find a stone and bury it in the hole and imagine that the gold is still lying there.
"It will do you the same service, for when the gold was there you didn't really have it because you didn't make the slightest use of it."
The moral of the story is that the true value of wealth is not in its possession but in its use. Wealth unused might as well not exist.
The Burdens of Wealth
The burdens of wealth are in
- the act of creating,
- the fear of keeping,
- the temptation of using,
- the guilt of abusing,
- the sorrow in losing and
- the responsibility of handing it over to a succeeding generation.
"Riches get their value from the mind of the possessor. They are blessings to those who know how to use them and curses to those who do not."(Ancient Rome playwright Terence 190 B.C.)
"For a person to build a rich and rewarding life for himself, there are certain qualities and bits of knowledge that he needs to acquire. There are also things, harmful attitudes, superstitions, and emotions that he needs to chip away. A person needs to chip away everything that doesn't look like the person he or she most wants to become." (Earl Nightingale)