The Merchant and the Beggar Boy


In Calcutta there once lived a merchant and a beggar boy.  The merchant had spent his lfe building successful businesses and had a reputation for giving money to charity, always taking the opportunity to publicize the donations.   The focus of his life was money and he identified with it.

The boy was living on the streets since his parents were killed in an accident and with no extended family he was living on scraps and handouts.  His clothes were his own and had grown frayed and worn but his appearance was not dirty and he always had a cheerful smile.  He regularly engaged locals and tourists in conversation and exchanged his lively stories for food donations and money.  It was enough to get by and he knew in his heart that his life had not been written yet.  That good things were coming.  Though young there was a sense of awareness in him.

One day the boy noticed a crowd gathering and he joined it.  The merchant was making a speech and many were gathered around.  The boy was small and moved through the crowd near the front to get a better view.  The merchant was talking about his success in business and as the boy stepped forward the merchant singled him out as one of the homeless children of the community.  He asked the boy to come up to the platform and the boy did so.  The merchant talked of the many beggar children and conditions of the city and soon pulled a gold coin from his pocket.  He held it before the boy asking him what he saw.

The boy replied, “I see a man with money who does not know what true wealth is.  For money is not wealth.  But money can come from wealth.”

The merchant went still and there was silence in the crowd.  The merchant was humbled as he recognized the truth in the words.

Years later the boy would become abundant in all areas of his life.   His life became a reflection of true wealth.


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