Friday, July 20, 2012

114) Learn Lessons - Detached from riches

"Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much."  Erich Fromm

Lord Braco, a Scotsman, who was very rich and miserly, had a store of gold and silver in his vault. One day a farmer said to him: "I will give you a shilling if you let me see all your gold and silver". Braco consented. The farmer gave him the shilling saying: "Now I am as rich as you are. I have looked at your gold and silver and that is all you can do with it".

Strangely, that is what we can do with our riches - look at them. The sad part of being rich is the clinging and clutching spirit that goes with the state - the state of attachment. We harbor a secret pride in what we possess not realizing that 'all will pass' - we cannot take anything with us when we die. Yet, we are far from giving to those in need. We rather hoard.

The example of my father comes back to me again and again. No one who came to him empty handed went back empty handed. He gave of his money, time and effort. He gave even when it hurt. The outpourings that we listened to on his death are still fresh in my mind.

When we stop hoarding and giving, our children will learn from us. In turn they will give freely of their little mite, time and effort and build up treasures that will not rust or decay.

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