The Poor Man Who Is Never Poor

A story of Tao wisdom that sets you thinking

lao tzu tao te ching 33

A young man is upset that he is never rich.

Upon suggestion of a fried, he seeks advice from the wise old man. “I can’t understand why I’m always poor.”

“Are you poor?” asks the wise old man. “But I can see that you’re rich!”

“No! I have no house, no car, and the wife I love has left me!” protests the young man.

“You have your fingers?” Says the wise old man, “Would you allow me to chop them off had I paid you a thousand dollors?”

“Of course not!” The young man is astounded.

“What about your hands? I’d pay you a million.”

“No!”

“What about your eyes? Can I remove them and pay you 5 million?”

“Over my dead body!”

“What about your youth? I’d pay you 10 million, but you’d turn 80 in the next second?”

Now the young man turns silence. All of a sudden, he realises he is rich.

I’m telling you the story not to discourage you from making money and building up wealth. A dream is an impetus and it adds vibrancy to your life. Fulfilling your ambition is a very beautiful thing in life.

You should not, however, keep looking at the future, and forget the here and now. While you’re looking to have more, you must not forget to enjoy what you already have at present.

Being alive and healthy is a gift. What about the love, the friendship, and the voice that can warm the hearts? If you can take care to look around, you’d realize the many wealth that you’re sitting on, although they are more often than not measured not in the units of dollars and cents.

While going round in search of the pot of gold, do not forget the diamond in your own backyard.

Count your blessings and you’ll realize how rich you are — never mind how much money you have in your bank account.

Those who know others are intelligent;
those who know themselves are truly wise.
Those who master others are strong;
those who master themselves have true power.
Those who know they have enough are truly wealthy.
Those who persist will reach their goal.

Those who keep their course have a strong will.
Those who embrace death will not perish,
but have life everlasting.

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching – Chapter 33 Translated by J H McDonald

Thank you Silvia Sala for the picture.

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