When Money Is Your Master 

 When money is your master you create this

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Instead of this

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When money is your master you attract her

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Instead of her

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When money is your master you cherish 

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Over

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You believe swindlers, just because they’re rich

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You obey tyrants, just because they’re rich

You idolize fools, just because they’re rich

You worship at the twin alters of Ignorance and Superfluous 

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I read a story decades ago when I was in the Peace Corps that was a well-known parable, but was new to me.  I repeat it now hoping it will land for the first time on someone new to its moral and ring true in their heart for as long as it has in mine.

A rich man went to vacation on a beautiful island and sat in his beach chair under a sun umbrella reading a novel and looking out over the beautiful sea.  He felt marvelous and relaxed and drank in the scenery with great satisfaction.  He loved the experience so much he went back again the following year for his vacation, and again the year after that.

This third year, feeling again very happy and even magnanimous, he noticed the fisherman on the beach that he had seen during each of his vacations.  He liked watching the man, who was very agile with his line and very patient for the five fish he caught each day.  His bucket held the fish perfectly and he spent every morning on the beach until he filled his bucket and then he left. 

One morning the vacationing man decided to strike up a conversation with the fisherman and they shared some pleasant small talk, so the next few days they stood together on the beach while the fisherman caught his five fish. 

The vacationing man said, “I see you here every day and you always catch five fish and then leave.”

“Yes, that’s true.  I have a wife and three children and my wife cooks up the fish for us each day when I return home.”

“But why do you always catch five fish every day?”

“Because that’s what we eat and that’s all I can carry home in this pail.”

“Well, if you caught more fish, you could sell them, and then you’d have enough to buy a bigger pail and even a wagon, so you could bring home more fish.”

“Oh yes, a wagon would be nice. With a wagon I could bring home many more fish, and sell some at the market.”

“That’s right.  And then you could save some, so you could buy a boat, and then you could really get a lot of fish!”

“For sure that’s true, I could get a lot more fish with a boat,” he agreed.

“No doubt.  And with all that money, you could afford to go on a vacation.”

“Oh, a vacation!  I’ve never been on a vacation before, that sounds fun.”

“So, what do you think you’d like to do on your vacation?”

“I think I’d like very much to go fishing on the beach.”

a man when fishing on a beach at sunset