Sharing generously – the secret to wealth?

Last week, I read a parable which I found intoxicatingly wise. It has to do with giving generously and with no expectation. This particularly struck me, as recently a colleague was hoarding information which could have helped us all reach a collective goal; yet, this person would not share this information with anyone. I could ponder as to why this was the case – fear, insecurity, quest for power, control – the list is fairly obvious. Thus, this parable hit home and I wanted to share with you.

The sannyasi (wise man) had reached the outskirts of the village and had settled down under a tree for the night when a villager came running up to him and said, “The stone! The stone! Give me the precious stone!”

“What stone?”, asked the sannyasi.

“Last night, it appeared to me in a dream,” said the villager. “It told me that if I went to the outskirts of the village at dusk, I would find you, who would give me a precious stone that would make me rich forever.”

The sannyasi rummaged in his bag and pulled out a stone. “You must mean this one,” and he handed over the stone to the villager. “I found it on the forest path some days ago. You may certainly have it.”

The man gazed at the stone in wonder. It was a diamond, probably the largest diamond in the world, for it was as large as a person’s head!”

He took the diamond and walked away. All night he tossed in bed, unable to sleep.

The next day, at the crack of dawn, he woke the sannyasi and said, “Give me the wealth that makes it possible for you to give this diamond away so easily.”

This Indian parable may be found in “The Jesuit Guide to (almost) Everything” published in 2010.