A man, who was full of self-pity, went to a priest and said, “I am very poor. I am totally disillusioned because I have nothing. I want to die. Please help me to become rich, or I do not wish to live.” The priest thought for a moment and said, “Alright, give me a day to think what I can do to help you to become rich. Come back tomorrow.”
The next day this poor man went to the priest’s house again. The priest introduced him to a blind man and said, “This man would happily pay you two lacs of rupees, if you would donate one of your eyes to him. You can earn this money today. You only have to say, ‘Yes’.” The poor man shook his head and said, “That shall disfigure my handsome face. I do not wish to give him my eye.”
The priest shrugged his shoulders and said, “If you are so concerned about your good looks, come again tomorrow, I shall think of something else.”
The following day, the priest had another guest sitting by his side. He said “This man is suffering from kidney failure. If you want, you can sell one of your kidneys to him for a fair sum of rupees three lacs. This deal shall not even hamper your good looks.
“No,” said the man. “I don’t want to go through the pain.”
Then the priest said, “My dear, God has given you a perfect body. You are richer than many thousands of people who are disabled, old, sick and suffering. This is your greatest wealth. You do not know its value. Make use of your limbs. Seek out work. There is no dearth of jobs. Good establishments are in fact, in search of good workers. If you work and prove your worth to your employer, he shall surely value you. Get up and get to work. The world is waiting for you.”
This reminds me of what my mother once told me. She said that whenever a baby was born in the family (it was an extended family). My late grand-mother never asked, whether it was a boy or a girl. All she asked was, “Is the child normal? Are all the limbs complete? Is the mother alright?”
In a society obsessed with male progeny, this was a great attitude. A normal healthy child is all she asked for. The sex of the child was very secondary.
So, all of us who are lucky to be blessed with normal healthy bodies are indeed wealthy. We just need to understand that this is the greatest wealth that God could bestow upon us and so, we should value it and put it to good use. Contentment they say, is not achieving all that you dreamt of, it is valuing and appreciating the things you already have.