How a trader taught his son to value money

Long ago in china, there lived a trader.  He had a fifteen-year-old son who always indulged in having fun with friends. The trader was a rich man but he worried a lot because of his son’s extravagant ways. He did not value money.

One day the trader came up with an idea to teach his son to value money. He called his son and said to him, “Son, from today you will have to start earning money on your own. Please go out and earn something before sunset or you will not be given your evening meal.”

The son panicked hearing his father’s condition and he ran to his mother, crying. The mother pampered her son a lot. So she gave him a gold coin.

Around sunset, the father asked the son if he had managed to earn anything. The son tossed the gold coin to him. The father did not show any interest in the coin and told his son to throw it in the well. The son obeyed and did the same without hesitation.

Next day, the trader sent his wife to her parents’ place and put forth the same condition in front of the son. The son panicked again because there was no mother to run to. So he ran to his elder sister. After hearing about her brother’s plight, the sister gave him a silver coin.

The son happily went to his father in the evening and gave him the coin. The father once again asked him to throw it in the well. The boy did as told without hesitation. Of course he did not value money.

Next day the trader sent his daughter to her grandparents too. And then he put forth the same condition. The son now had nobody to run to. So he was compelled to go out in the market and find some work.

A shopkeeper offered to pay him a copper coin if he carried his trunk to the station. The boy took up that job. The trunk was heavy and he got sweaty and bruised in order to carry it. His back ached and legs gave up. But he earned the coin.

That evening when the father asked him to throw the coin in the well, the boy protested, “Father, don’t you value money? How can I throw the coin in the well? I have sweated hard and hurt my back to earn this and you are asking me to throw it in the well? I won’t do it!”

But the moment he said those words he realized what his father was trying to do. After that day, the boy never spent money in useless things. He had learned to value money.


Source: “Value money’ from Chinese Literature

photo credit: EJP Photo via photopin cc

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