http://www.visiontimes.com/?p=94773

True Wealth Comes From the Heart

True wealth comes from the heart. (Image:  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
True wealth comes from the heart. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Many years ago in China, a number of peasants staged a mass exodus out of a village plagued by prolonged drought. Lao Wang joined the ranks of refugees with his only worldly possession, a bag of potatoes.

While on the road, he met a father and son who were obviously starving. The man carried a heavy sack on his back and he asked Lao for a potato for his son, but Lao refused.

In response, the man said: “Would you sell me your bag of potatoes for what is in my sack?” With that, the man opened his sack to reveal a large amount of silver coins.

A region plagued by prolonged drought caused a mass exodus of peasants. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A village plagued by prolonged drought caused a mass exodus of peasants. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Lao was born into a very poor family, and he was amazed to see so much silver. He immediately agreed to exchange his potatoes for the coins. Afraid that Lao Wang might change his mind, the father took the bag of potatoes and hurried down the road with his son.

After some time with no food, Lao started to stumble from weakness and he began to regret his decision. He saw the father and son sitting on the side of the road and tried to buy back the potatoes, but was refused. Sadly, he eventually starved to death.

Lao Wang joined the flow of refugees out of his village with his only worldly possession, a bag of potatoes. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Lao Wang joined the flow of refugees out of his village with his only worldly possession, a bag of potatoes. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Lao Wang descended to the underworld and when he arrived, Hades greeted him by saying:

Lao replied: “I was so poor in my last life that I was blinded by so much silver!”

Hades replied:

Without thinking, Lao decided on the first choice.

Hades replied: “You have a choice to make before entering into your next life: The first is to guard a large piece of land, and the second is to guard a mountain of gold.” (Image: Lawrence OP via flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

Hades replied: ‘You have a choice to make before entering into your next life: The first is to guard a large piece of land, and the second is to guard a mountain of gold.’ (Image: Lawrence OP via flickr / CC BY 2.0 )

Thirty years later, Lao Wang returned to the underworld claiming that he had been deceived. Upon hearing this, Hades asked: “Why do you say that?” Lao replied: “I was a beggar for 30 years!”

Hades said to him:

In desperation, Lao Wang pleaded: “Please, the king of the underworld, let me have a better life next time.”

Hades replied:

Lao Wang pondered this for a moment and made the decision to guard the mountain of gold. Hades watched him depart and said to himself:

The moral of the story is that an ordinary person cannot control his fate, but he can control his heart, and true wealth comes from the heart.

Translation edited by Kathy McWilliams

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