Monday, January 23, 2012

The Miser

A man loved gold so dearly that he sold all his possessions for a bag of gold coins bigger than a ram's head. He buried the gold in his garden, and every day he went to dig it up and count each and every piece of the precious metal.
          But one day a thief saw him at this, and that very night came and dug up the gold for himself. When the miser discovered the empty hole the next morning, his wails could be heard far and wide.
          A young servant boy came running to see the trouble. "Sir," he said, "there's no need to weep. Here, replace your gold with this." And he handed his master a large, heavy rock.
          "This isn't gold, you fool!" raged the miser, but the boy shrugged.
          "You never meant to spend the gold, master, so what does it matter?" he asked. "That rock is just as much use to you as those coins ever were!"

Something we never use is worthless.

          That servant boy is probably my most favorite character in any of the Aesop stories. He completely outsmarts the old miser while the miser is probably middle aged and the servant is only around 10 or 11. The fact that the little boy can teach that man a lesson is really important for people out there to learn. But that is a different lesson. Maybe later I'll talk about that. What really makes me mad about this fable is that I can see many things like this in real life. You read this story and you think, "Wow, the miser is pretty dumb. A whole bag of gold and he doesn't spend it." Well this stupid person has been inside of every person on this planet at one time or another.

          A child can beg and plead for a toy and then after exhausting his parents, doesn't use it for more than a week. I can partially understand this because, after all, it is only a child, but the fact that so much money is wasted on things like this really annoys me. I mean, have you ever been to a baby's house? There are toys EVERYWHERE and the child plays with 2. Only 2. It really annoys me when I see a child like that. I mean why have so many things if you never play with it. The parents can always just sell the toys that they don't play with and I bet the child wouldn't even notice.

The same goes for older kids. I have even done this before. I get a video game that I play for about a month and then never look at it again. I can partially connect with the miser here. It is hard to give up something even though you don't use it or it is worthless. You grow attached to it and can't let go. But people, including me, need to learn to let go because something we never use is completely worthless.

          My friend says that his dad has a really cool car that he loves. It’s vintage and a real classic and a collector's item, etc. Yet he takes it out of the garage maybe 2 or 3 times a year and is getting his whole driveway repaved because the gravel on his old driveway would chip the paint. This is an extreme version of the story. Not only is his "bag of gold" not being used to its full capacity, it is guzzling up all of his money. The cost to keep good condition and to repave his driveway is coming all from his wallet. He won't sell it because he has an attachment to it and I understand that, I mean no disrespect; but we need to learn to use or let go of something that is, in reality, worthless to us.

          I can understand attachment. I have gone through the same thing. I wanted to keep my video game even though I didn’t play it anymore, but my dad persuaded me to sell it. I was really sad for a couple of days, but after that, I completely forgot about it and moved on. We need to learn to use or let go. I think that Aesop was right on for this one. Something we never use is, indeed, worthless.

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