The Poor Cousins
A rich man once took his eight year old son for a visit to his distant cousins who lived on a farm. He said, “Son, I want you to see for yourself the difference in our lives and the lives of those who live in the villages. They stayed at the farm for a weekend. They watched the farmers plough the fields. They watched them milking the cows. The son enjoyed himself running after the hens and looking for their eggs. They ate the simple meals of dal (lentils) and chapattis (Indian bread), sitting cross-legged at the floor in the backyard.
On their way home, the father asked his son, “Son, did you see how the poor people live?”
“Yes” said the boy with a wistful look in his eyes.“I realised Dad, how poor we are!”
The father raised his eyebrows; surely he had heard wrong! The boy continued, “I realised that we have air conditioned rooms only; they have the air conditioned countryside.
I realised that while we buy six packets of milk, they have six cows to give milk to them.
I saw that while we have only a small patch of land behind our house, they have acres of it.
I saw that while we have to go to the roof top to watch the stars, they can watch them all night and anywhere.
I saw that while we eat bread that comes from a packet with only a thin layer of butter, they eat fresh home baked chapattis with dollops of fresh butter on them.
I saw that while you jog on your treadmill; they can run anywhere on their land.
I saw that while we have to go to the clubhouse for a swim, they have a whole stream of their own.
I saw that while we only know how to say ‘I love you’, they really know how to show it.
I realize now father, how poor we are. Can we visit our rich cousins again, sometime?”
The father was speechless. His city bred son had seen through the falsities of our so called modern life. Truly those who live simply are richer and happier. They have more time to share love. In our modern day living we have no time for anyone, sometimes not even for ourselves. We prefer things to people. We slog from morn to night to earn money. In the process we forget the very purpose of life.
There is a lot of happiness in ‘Simple living and high thinking.’ Today, sit back and think about your life. Then try to answer this simple question; “Am I rich or poor?”