Dec 022009

Philosophers have noted that human desires often increase with the means of their gratification. Many a times we want to say ” Just a little more…. more…more…” Wisdom teaches us when to say ” Enough ” This story comes from Russian fable writer Ivan Krylov.

One day a ragged beggar was creeping along from house to house. He carried an old wallet in his hand, and was asking at every door for a few cents to buy something to eat. As he was grumbling at his lot, he kept wondering why it was that folks who ahd so much money were never satisfied but were always wanting more.

” Here” said he,” is the master of the house – I know him well. He was always a good businessman, and he made himself wondrously rich a long time ago. Had he been wise he would have stopped then. He would ahve turned over his business to someone else, and then he could ahve spent the rest of his life in ease. But what sis he do instead? He took to building ships and sending them to sea to trade with foreign lands. He thought he would get mountains of gold.

” But there were great storms on the water. His ships were wrecked, and his riches were swollowed up by the waves. Now the hopes all lie in the bottom of the sea, and his great wealths has vanished like the dreams of a night.

There are many such cases. Men seem to be never satisfied unless they can gain the whole world.

” As for me, if I had only enough to eat and to wear I would not want anything more ”

Just at that moment Fortune came down the street. She saw the beggar and stopped. She said to him: ” Listen! I ahve long wished to help you. Hold your wallet and I will pour this gold into it. But I will pour only on this condition: All that falls into the wallet will be pure gold; but every piece that falls upon the ground shall become dust. Do you understand? ”

” Oh, yes I understand, ” said the beggar. Then have a care, ” said Fortune. ” Your wallet is old, so do not load it too heavily.” The beggar was so glad that he could hardly wait. He quickly opened his wallet, and a stream of yellow coins was poured into it. The wallet soon began to grow heavy.

” Is that enough?” asked Fortune. ” Not yet.” ” Isnt it cracking? ” ” Never fear. ” The beggar’s hand began to tremble. Ah, if the golden stream would only pour forever! You are the richest amn int he world now! ” Just a little more ” said the beggar. ” Add just a handful or two. ” ” There, its full. The wallet will burst.” ” But it will hold a little more, just a little more! ”

Another piece was added and the wallet split. The treasure fell upon the ground and was turned to dust. Fortune had vanished. The beggar had now nothing but his empty wallet, and it was torn from top to bottom. He was as poor as before.

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