Tuesday, February 9, 2010
It is said of Diogenes, the Greek cynical itinerant and a contemproary of Alexander the great: Alexander the great who lived amidst the power and pomp of this world ever felt a deep seated prick of conscience while standing before this poor naked wanderer. To somehow get rid of the guilt feeling he wanted to appease Diogenes. One day he went to visit Diogenes who was enjoying the fresh sunlight of the morning sun, lying on the sea shore. He did not notice the arrival of the great emperor. As he sensed that his sunlight was blocked by some shade he turned around and looked, then he saw Alexander the great standing against him. Alexander greeted him and made an offer of a solid amount of gold. Just shaking his head with a sarcastic smile he replied: "please stand away from my sun...!" Things of great value cannot be bought with money. Who can buy sun, wind, horizon, freedom.... with money? And who can take away them from me? Ultimately, life is a gift to be taken with utmost respect, and not to trade with it in the market. In the book of Acts in the New Testament we have the story of a man named Simon, who was a magician from Samaria. He became the follower of Christ after hearing Philip preach the Good News. Later, when Simon saw how the apostles imparted Holy Spirit to the new converts, he was so much impressed by it and asked them if he could buy the power to impart the Holy Spirit. The old magician in Simon saw a potential market for this kind of power. Peter the fisherman is bit indignant in his response to Simon: “May you and your money go to hell, for thinking that you can buy God’s gift with money.” Certainly, there are number of things in life that money cannot buy for you: time, health, happiness, peace, respect, love, friendship, immortality….. The well known saying goes like this: Money can buy house but not home. Money can buy clock but not time. Money can buy bed but not sleep. Money can buy book but not knowledge. Money can buy position but not respect. Money can buy sex but not love. Money can buy luxuries but not happiness. When purchased with money things are goods, when received with respect they are gifts. Purchase and Reception are two attitudes in approaching things in life. The beggar came to meet the emperor to make a request for his basic sustenance. He was told by the court guards that the emperor is praying in the temple, that he can directly go to the temple and meet him there. The beggar stood outside the temple for some time and returned. While returning one of the guards asked him whether he made the request to the emperor. He said, “No!” Guard asked, “Then why did you come to meet emperor ?” He replied, “I thought he was an emperor, but now I understood that he is bigger beggar than me. I heard him begging in the temple before God for greater victory, gold and power.” At times it so happens to us we lose sight of little things in life which are precious but not found in market place at our disposal to purchase.