Sometimes we encounter challenges in our personal, academic, and professional lives that make us question the purpose of life. I recently came across some oriental wisdom, which offered me more insight into this question.
A son goes to his father and asks him what the value of life is. The father hands him a stone and says: "If you want to know the value of the stone, take it and go to the market. If anyone asks the price, don't say a word; just raise two fingers.”
The boy takes the stone and heads off to the market. He gets there, and an old man approaches him. "How much is this stone?”, he asks. The boy does not say a word and raises two fingers. The man says: “Two euros - I will take it.”
The son rushes home and tells his father someone wanted the stone for two euros. The father then tells him to take the stone to a precious stone store. "When you get there, if anyone asks you for the price, don't say a word; just raise two fingers."
The son gets to the precious stone store and sees an old woman at the counter. She sees the stone and jumps up, screaming. “Oh my God, you have the stone I have been looking for my whole life. How much do you want for it?” Again, the boy doesn't say a word and raises two fingers. The old woman says: “200,000 Euros - I'll take it.”
The boy can't believe his ears and runs to his father. He tells him what happened at the store. The father responds: “Son, I hope you now understand the value of life. Life is about where you place yourself. You can decide whether to be a 2 or a 200,000 euro stone. Some people love you, and for them, you are everything. Others see you as a commodity. For them, you are worth nothing. So it is upon you, my child, to decide the value of your life.”
Jamiu Busari, associate professor of medical education at FHML and dean Health Professions Education (HOH Academy Aruba)