“Dad, why are we poor?” this question amazed and saddened his dad. His ten year old son, how did his little life bring him to such a grave question? He pulled the kid up in his arms,” What makes you think – we are poor?” The kid hid his face on father’s shoulder and mumbled,” I don’t have many things.” Dad laughed in disbelief,” Nobody has everything kid!” The kid thought for while and kicked himself out of his dad’s arms and sat down on the grass. It is a serious discussion. The message was clear. Dad laid down in the grass beside the kid and asked him,” You think that is not true?” The kid looked dejected. “It is true kid. But, it is not a sad thing. It is delightful. Now tell me, what are the things, the absence of which makes you feel poor?”
The kid thought about all the things he craved for,” Dad, I don’t have the toys the other kids have. I have a tyre, a little rope swing by this tree and a car made out of wooden twigs. They have these vibrant colours and remote controls.” Dad smiled,” So, do they all have the toys you have and have their toys too?” The kid replied innocently,”No they don’t have my toys.” “Does that make them poor?” the kid was caught in surprise by this question. “No Dad. They are not.” Dad asked him one more question,” Aren’t you happy when you play with your toys?” The kid couldn’t disagree,” I am very happy when I play”
“So, you have things few things to play with and you are happy. Those kids have something to play with and they are happy. So why are you poor- kid?” The kid’s description of being poor was clear. He spoke confidently, “I think their toys are better than mine”. The dad felt a stab in his heart. His son was on the path where many had gone before, comparison. He tried to make his son think about it in a different way, he spoke softy and slowly,” So, you are poor because you believe someone has something better than you and not because you don’t have what you need.” The kid lowered is head and raised a genuine doubt, “But isn’t better always good?” The dad replied,” Depends on what the better does to you. Will you have more fun? Or will just have one more way to have the fun you were having? Pleasures and joys of living come to us in different ways. We look at others and get dejected when we see how other are getting happiness- fun! But what we forget is we are getting the same happiness and the same fun-just by different means. Now, if both these result in the same outcome- how can one be better and one poor?”
After that there was no conversation. There was no need for one.