On the road again, on the road again… (musical interlude). Ok, you guessed it! This weekend I’m on a quick road trip.
Ahhh, the wind in my hair, the sun overhead, the car radio playing as I enjoy the scenic routes. What’s better than a road trip?
Of course, if only I could have the internet with me while I was driving…..
I know most of you may be used to reading my posts over the weekend. This weekend, I will be on the road. If I get a chance, I may be able to send out a quick post. However, in the meantime I’ll leave you a story to ponder.
My father used to tell me about this story when I was younger about a successful business man and his son.
There was a young man who was born into wealth. His father had built up a kingdom of businesses and real estate and was rich in every sense of the word.
So, this young man lived a life of luxury. He had servants who took care of his every need. His mother was a kind woman, who made sure that her son never wanted for anything.
His father, to the contrary, had not been born to any means. He grew up without a penny to his name and made himself into the man he was by working hard and building up his empire a brick at a time.
He knew that one day he would pass this kingdom onto his son and he worried about whether his son could handle the responsibility. By this time, his son was already a young man, but he had never known hardship. He had never known hard work.
So, the father called the son into his office one day. And he said to his son, “One day, I will pass my business to you. But right now you are not ready, and I will not pass it to someone who is not ready. You must show me that you know how to earn a living before I will allow you to run the business. Tomorrow, I want you to go out and find a job and bring me back $20 from your earnings.”
In those days, $20 was a fair sum of money and the equivalent of a days wages for hard labor.
The son was muted and nodded his head. He had no idea how to earn $20, but agreed to go.
The next day, the young man’s mother approached him. She did not want him to suffer the hardships of other men. So she said to him, “I know your father is a hard man. He doesn’t understand you. Here’s $20. Take it and give it to him and tell him you earned it, so you don’t have to go out and do rough work.” She pressed a $20 bill into his hand.
He accepted the money. Grateful to his mother for the help. For he did not know how to get a job.
That evening he approached his father in the office.
He handed his father the $20 bill. Here father, “I did as you asked. Now I am ready for the family business.”
His father hardly looked at the money as he took it from his son. Then in one motion, he turned and threw the bill into the fire.
The young man watched mutely, astonished by the action.
His father turned back to him and said, “Bah! You didn’t earn this money. Your mother must have given it to you. You are not ready. Go back out tomorrow and earn $20. We’ll speak again.”
And he left the office.
The next day. The young man was fretting more than ever about finding a job.
His mother came to him again.
Again, she gave him a $20 bill. “This time be more convincing with your father. He doesn’t understand you my poor boy. You were made for fine things. Not for hard labor.”
He took the money.
That evening he tried his best. Even stooping to look disheveled as he gave his father the money.
His father was not fooled. Again, he threw the bill into the fireplace as the young man stared astonished.
Again his father sent him back out to find a job.
On the third day, the boy’s mother tried to help him again.
This time, he refused. “No Mother. Father knows. He’ll only burn the money and send me back out again. I must bear it.”
So, on that day, he went out to the street. He asked all manner of men for a job.
In the end, he was able to find a day job doing construction.
Because he had no skills with machinery, he did all the grunt work. He hauled the heavy trash and debris. He brought the supplies to the other men. He scraped his hands and knees bloody. He had never worked so hard.
At the end of the day, the foreman paid him his $20 for the work.
That evening, the man went to his father again in the office.
“Father,” he said, “I did as you asked. I earned $20.”
He handed his father the $20 bill. Pride beaming at his face.
His father took it, stern faced as ever.
Then his father turned and threw the bill into the fireplace.
The young man cried out astonished. “What did you do!”
He lept to the fire, scrambling for the bill. He burned his hands, but he cared not as he grasped for his hard won money.
His father watched on. Pride starting to show on his face. When his son got up, he had the burned bill held tightly in his hand. Tears streaming down his face.
He turned to his father, holding out the bill. “Do you know what this is worth?”
His father replied, “Yes, and now so do you.”
His son did take over the family business after that. He never forgot the value of hard work and the lesson his father taught him. In the years to come, he became as great a business man as his father, taking the business to new heights.