The Rich Beggar
By Ashok G. Vasandani
Here’s a story I read on Facebook, from The Meaning of Life page that I’d like to share, something that we can all learn from.
ONCE upon a time there lived a man named Matthew with his beautiful wife called Leslie. Matthew was a rich business man. He could afford everything he wanted. He was very fond of buying good dresses for his wife and for himself too, and also good jewelry for his wife. One day when Matthew was eating dinner with his wife, a hungry beggar came to the door and earnestly begged for some bread. Leslie asked Matthew, “Can we part with some bread and meat that we are eating to give the beggar?” Matthew replied, “Okay, you can give him,” but at the same time very angrily made ill remarks against the beggar. “These people are sluggish they don’t do any hard work; they have become professional beggars”. They should not be shown any sympathy and our help and alms encourages them to take up begging as a profession. It makes them greedier and they leave respectable life. Soon after the rude treatment of the beggar by Matthew, things started to change for the worst for him.
First, he started facing losses in his business and eventually it was completely ruined. He had to sell his car to pay off loans and meet his household expenses. There came a time when he had to sell his wife’s jewelry and all the valuables, he had at throw away prices. But this did not help him in restarting his business and he finally had to mortgage his house. There was still no respite. It seemed anything he touched turned to dust. He wandered the streets disheveled and disheartened. He could not afford a loaf of bread to eat or to feed his beloved wife Leslie. He decided to leave her at her parent’s house all his belongings had vanished.
Matthew eventually found himself begging on the roadside. Now let us turn to the tale of the hungry beggar who had knocked Matthew’s door one night. That beggar, John, had to beg out of necessity and hunger. Whatever little money he received from charitable people, he tried to save as much as he could. He managed to save enough to purchase a shop in the same locality and started the business of grocery. His business started thriving from the first day. In a few months, he became a reasonably well-off man.
One night, when John was eating dinner with his wife, a beggar appeared on their door. John’s wife asked his permission to give some bread to the beggar. He is very happily agreed and also took out some money to give too. When he came to the door, he was shocked to find Matthew begging for something to eat. John felt pity on Matthew’s sufferings and misfortune. But he decided not to embarrass Matthew by reminding him and how badly he had spoken to John long ago and how the situation was reversed now.
Instead, John gave Matthew more money with the food and prayed that may God forgive Matthew’s sins and bestow His Mercy on Matthew.
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