Dr. med., Facharzt für Allgemeine Innere Medizin, Mitglied FMH
This is a hitherto untold story of a young peasant named Hu, who tried to find the secret of getting rich. He lived by cultivating rice and worked in the paddy fields, nurturing his rice crops by hand. Following long drought periods, the yield of rice diminished drastically; he consequently decided to abandon his village forevermore. His decision to leave was strengthened through the legend about peasant Xīmēng (known also as Xī), who moved to the Emperor’s town of Luoyang, where he became fabulously rich.
Pursuing his dream, the courageous peasant walked many days till he reached Luoyang. There, he was really surprised to find thatXī was known to almost everybody. He easily reached the guarded entrance of Xī’s home and saw that it was an enormous property, consisting of a palace with several wings and a large garden. The peasant appeared in front of the guards in his grimy robe and dirty shoes. He asked to be introduced toXī,who he told them came originally from his village. A guard escorted him to the palace and took him into a huge room with high arched windows where, dressed in an emerald-green gold-embroidered robe, the proprietor Xī received his visitor. Hearing the requests, he replied gently, saying:
“Many years ago, on my arrival here, my only possession was ten copper coins. After deducting daily expenses for food and lodgings there remained only one copper. In the search for employment, I found work in a jade factory. After hearing my needs, the owner employed me to polish rough gems for him. For one copper, he sold me one small jade stone and provided me with rasping files. I polished it vigorously and sold it for two coppers. The value of the polished jade was doubled. With the two coppers, I purchased two rough-hewn jade stones, polished them and gained four coppers on their sale. After a while, I purchased four rough-hewn jade stones.”
At this instant, Hu interrupted his host, and said, “I should leave you now!!!”
Many months later, Hu appeared once again in front of Xī’s home. He told Xī that he followed his council and was able to polish up to eight big gems daily and gain sixteen coppers. With the sixteen coppers received after selling them, he paid eight coppers for food and lodging and eight to purchase another eight rough gems. Day after day, his financial gains were used up, half for living and half to purchase new rough gems. Still working from daybreak to the late evening, he could never save even one copper. “This manner of working is not the way to strike it rich! What is the secret of becoming rich and becoming wealthy?”
Xī replied, “Like you, I polished the rough gems the whole day long. However, every evening I visited my great-granduncle. The old, lonely man received me with joy and gave me many precious life lessons. For example: to be humble, to perceive the needy and regularly offer them part of one’s wealth.
So, I was the intermediary who distributed the donations, giving a part of his wealth to the poor and needy.
When my great-granduncle died, I inherited his palace, myriads of gold coins and much more. And I continue to follow his dedicated path by giving generously and regularly to the poor and deprived.”
The moral of getting rich and the wealth gained from it is: share it, by the willingness and desire to help others, in charitable donations.
Dr. med. André Simon
Allgemeine Innere Medizin FMH
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