Growing up, I would always fall back on the chorus of Don Williams song, Country Boy. I love this song…
“…I’ve got silver in the stars and gold in the morning sun.”
I found solice in being with-out riches. Being born into the military, (Japan) we traveled a lot. We were stationed in Panama till I was nearly nine. When we arrived in the United States. I remember thinking, “How rich Americans were,” because the roads were paved and there were wooden doors on every house. In Panama, most of the roads were dirt roads and most homes had sheets or blankets over the front door. (If they had anything for a front door at all.)
…a zen masters wealth!
… silver in the stars and gold in the morning sun.
…besides, I learned a long time ago; smaller homes bring people closer together larger houses they are farther apart.
One day a wealthy father took his son on a trip to the country so that the son could see how the poor lived. They spent a day and a night at the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“Very good, Dad!”
“Did you see how poor people can be?”
“And what did you learn?” The Father asked.
The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the house; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard; they have the whole horizon.” When the little boy was finished, the father was speechless. His son then added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!”
I saw a man sitting by the road. List less. It looked like he has lost a lot in life. I couldn’t help thinking what might have gone wrong with him. Has he lost all his money in business? Has he been robbed out of last penny in his pocket? Has he lost his love for life? Is he bereaved of his loved ones? or Has he got mad?
He was quite indifferent to the world running with accelerated speed around him. As if he has nothing to do with anyone or anything. It seemed that he has not even bathed for many days, nor has changed his clothes. He had not shaved for months and hair had also got dirty. Perhaps he has eaten nothing for some time.
He did look almost like a beggar but made no sign of begging from others. I could not resist myself to know of his woes. I stepped towards him and greeted him with ‘hello’. He did not respond. I asked him what is that bothering him. and the answer he gave me was really eye opening. He said…
I had decided not to enjoy life until I’ve collected my first million. I did not allow my heart laugh when it wanted to. I did not eat well when I felt hungry. I did not bought new clothes until my old one were not really worn out. I did not mix well with people and family so that I may not have to spend money. After all this efforts… today I’ve got my first million.
‘It’s great’ I said. “Why don’t you laugh now?” I asked “and enjoy the life”
“That’s is the problem” he said. “I have forgotten how to laugh, how to enjoy, my heart has lost its spirit, I have no one to share with my pleasure and” his eyes had got wet..
“then what are you thinking now?” I asked.
“I am reasoning if this first million was really worth what I have lost for it” he said.
Related Stories on zendictive… Take a Needle to Heaven
Picture source: (top) 5:30 in the Morning
(bottom) Yiddish Proverb
story Source: Who is the Rich Man
story source: Poor Man
song : Country Boy… by Don Williams (YouTube)
the truely rich are those who enjoy what they have.
If you want to feel rich,
just count all of the things you have that money can’t buy.
may you find ‘the richness of life’ today