Wisdom story: Something to eat, drink, plant for just one coin
There was once a very wealthy merchant that had very little to worry about in his life. He had all the material comforts he could possibly want or need, a beautiful and faithful wife, many good friends, and a big family. But still, there was something that was bothering him. His biggest concern was his eldest son who was very lazy and showed no intelligence or creativity, much less any willingness to work. However, the merchant’s wife did not share her husband’s concerns and always made excuses for her son and thought the best of him. But even that did not change the fact that the boy was getting older and it was time for him to start taking on responsibilities. One day while eating dinner the merchant and his wife confronted their eldest son about his responsibilities. The merchant made it clear that his son had one month’s time to prove that he can be trusted with the family business and the wealth it comes with it. The test was very simple and by solving it the son would prove that he is very resourceful, clever, and capable of thinking outside the box. These were all of the traits the merchant prided himself on and accredited great meaning to his success in business. The merchant gave his son just one coin with which he had to bring home something to eat, drink, plant in the garden, and feed the cow. Everything else the son had until this point was taken away from him. He could only come home to eat and sleep the rest he had to manage with just one coin he had received from his father. The merchant also didn’t allow any help from any of the family members, friends, or existing business partners.
The merchant’s son took the coin and off he went to prove to his father that he is more than capable of taking over the family business. After a week of unsuccessful searching, negotiating, and begging with local vendors the son confided to his mother that he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver what he needed to his father. The mother calmed him down and suggested he starts taking long trips around town and even out of town where he had never been yet, so that he may find new ideas, and meet new people who might help him find the solution to his problem. The son did what his mother suggested and after another week had passed he still wasn’t any closer to a solution. By this time even though he still had two weeks until his deadline he was ready to give up. But then just as he was walking home from a nearby village there was a young beautiful woman that was pushing a full cart of vegetables and fruit. To impress her he quickly walked up to her and offered to help. To the young man’s luck, she was headed into town like he was and was more than happy to accept his help. During their journey to town, they talked a lot and the young man found out that the young woman was living in town taking care of her mother but was traveling to the nearby village a couple of times a week to help out her grandparents on their family farm. In return, her grandparents gave her vegetables and fruit to sell in the town market.
Ever since that day the merchant’s son was in love and was willing to do anything to gain the young woman’s heart. The first thing he did the next day was search for the young woman at the market. Then he spent his whole day with her selling fruit and vegetables and walking to the near village to work on her grandparent’s farm, and as the day was ending he helped her push the cart full of fruit and vegetables back to town. The next day he did the same and so the day after and the day after that. It didn’t take long for the two of them to fall in love and they became a couple. Days flew by like hours while they were together and every moment they weren’t, felt like an eternity. The young man forgot about the task his father gave him and on the night before the deadline was due his mother reminded him if he had found the solution. The young man was taken aback by how fast time has passed. That night he couldn’t fall asleep and thought hard about what the solution could be but he couldn’t come up with it. The next morning he again went to the market to meet his girlfriend. She noticed he was different than any other day before. She asked him what was wrong and when he told her about his father’s task she just smiled back and told him to give her the coin. The young man gave her the coin and she, in turn, gave him the biggest watermelon she had. The young man looked strange at the girl, but before he could say anything she just smiled and reminded him what they did every day since the day they met. Suddenly the young man understood what she meant, thanked her and went straight to his father.
When he arrived, the whole family was already waiting for the young man in the family dining room. When he presented the solution to his father everyone looked at the young man with confusion except for his father who with a smile asked his son to explain to everyone why he brought a watermelon on which he spent just one coin and no more. The son took the watermelon and put it in front of him at the dining table. He also asked for a cutting board, a knife, a ladle, a bucket, and a large pitcher. As he started to cut the watermelon he explained that he had met a girl he fell in love with and was helping her every day on her grandparent’s farm in the fields where they grew different vegetables and fruit. After that, he helped her transport the freshly picked vegetables and fruit to the town market and sell them. Since it was hot they usually ate freshly cut slices of watermelon when they were on a break to cool down. While saying this he handed out plates with pieces of watermelon to every family member so that they could eat. Then he took the rest of the watermelon and cut the middle “pink flesh” of the fruit into small pieces which he then put in the pitcher and squeezed the juice out of the pink middle with the ladle. Finally, he poured the watermelon juice into each of his family members’ cups through a strainer which caught the watermelon seeds and small pieces of the pink middle. While doing this he continued to explain that whenever he or his girlfriend were thirsty they had made watermelon juice for them. While his family was eating and drinking the watermelon the merchant’s eldest son carefully picked the watermelon seeds and dried them off with a towel and put them in a small container. He also collected the green hard peels and put them in a separate bucket. When the merchant’s son was done he explained that they used the seeds to grow more watermelons and they used the green peel of the watermelon to feed all of the animals on the farm including cows. And that is how he found the perfect solution he could buy for just one coin.
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What lesson did you get out of this story?