A financially wealthy man decided to take his son with him across the country to prove a point. His goal was to show his son what it meant to live without much money, and just how people lived with little to no money every day. After going from state to state, showcasing just how many people struggled financially across the country, the father thought he would end the trip with a final lesson, and he made arrangements to stay with a very poor family on a farm.
When they returned home, after staying on the farm for a week the father asked his son whether he had enjoyed the trip. Expecting his son to have hated the trip, due to him missing all his luxuries of living in their mansion, he was blown away when his son responded by saying,”I really loved our trip Dad”.
“Now son, do you now see just how lucky we are and how many people live differently than us?” the father asked. “Yes, I completely understand now Dad”, the son responded. Wanting to make sure his son fully grasped the life lesson he tried to teach his son, he asked one final question:”So what did you learn the most from going on this trip?”
The boy answered: “I noticed that we have one dog, and the poor family on the farm had four. We have a big swimming pool which takes up half of our backyard, and they have a stream which seems to go on forever. We have lights that come on at night so we can see our garden, but they could see their garden from how bright the stars were in the sky. Our house has a long patio to play on, but they have fields that go all the way to the horizon. We buy our food and it comes in plastic bags, and they grow theirs. Our house has a big fence around it to make sure we are safe, but they have friends living all around them.”
The man’s jaw dropped to the floor, and he stood in amazement of what his son had just told him. His son went on: “I guess really understand that we’re actually really poor.”
Sometimes it takes the insightfulness of a child to remind us about what’s really important in this life. We often forget about what we have, and concentrate too much on what we lack. One person may view something as holding little value, while to another it is an amazing prize. It all resides in the perspective we chose to hold that day.