The rich man who was poor

Once upon a time – as so many stories begin – there was this rich man who had everything in the world. But whatever he did, whatever he bought…nothing ever seemed to fill the hole he had inside. He felt he was missing something and it made him feel very unhappy. He just bought himself a Rolce Royce only a week ago, and he was now looking at this “perfect machine” through the window of his living room, wondering “why do I still feel unhappy when I have everything I ever wanted? Why do I feel so worthless when my estimated value is higher than the prince of Saudi?”

One day he was drunk, went outside and stepped into a cab. “Whereto sir?”, the driver asked. He replied “to a place where I can just fly away, without a worry or a care”. So the cab driver dropped him off at the airport. There also he was asked “whereto, sir”. He replied “I don’t care, some wild and untouched place with few people…. where nobody knows my name”

He stepped on the plane thinking “ I don’t care. My credit card will get me anywhere. Money talks!” and when the plane landed he went straight to this tiny pub and started drinking some more. 

The next morning, he woke up in the middle of nowhere. What happened? He couldn’t remember anything from the day before. He was sitting with his back against a tree, and he heard something above his head. So, he looked up and saw a man climbing up a tree. “What are you doing?” he shouted at him. The man looked down and said “here…catch….do you want one? They are ripe.” and he threw a piece of fruit down at him. 

“What is this?”, he asked.

“We call it food from the gods” the man replied, as he climbed back down from the tree. “It tastes just like papaya” and he cut the fruit open.

The rich man was hungry, so he took a bite from the fruit. “Wow, this is delicious” he said, as he looked around and saw the place was full of these trees. “Is this your land?”, the rich man asked. The man laughed “I’m here and I’m on it…it’s as good as mine as it is yours”.

The rich man saw business and in his mind he saw himself putting down a factory. Fruits were put in cans and shipped to the richest countries, sold as a delicacy. He discussed his plan with the man and proudly said to him “you will be my manager. I will make sure that you have a house with a swimming pool and you’ll have to work hard…but there will be plenty of spare time too”.

The man laughed…”But, sir….I already have a hut by the sea. I don’t need a swimming pool. There is plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of fruit to eat. I have all the time in the world and I trust that everything I need will be provided to me. Mother nature takes care of me and of all the others around here” and then he became a little angry about this rich dude who was planning to take away the food of the village.

To make it short…the rich man had to run for his life, followed by a bunch of angry people. He ran back to his “civilized world” where he realized that all this desiring, all this wanting more and never having enough…never being grateful with what he had…all this pride and living up to this image that people were seeing of him…that this is what made him feel unhappy and that the only thing he was missing was just “to be able to be his real natural self.”

So all this time he had been very rich on the outside, but he couldn’t help feeling poor on the inside.

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