I met my classmate at school recently at a wedding party. It was fun to meet a classmate after more than forty years. We talked and suddenly he asked me; Why do I write for free? My answer surprised him and he said that being a businessperson he could not understand my motive for writing only to lose my time and effort for no payable checks.
My friend’s questions percolated in my mind and spurred more questions.
- Is it only gain and loss of money?
- What do we lose if we get a good reputation? Similarly, what do we lose when we gain fame?
- Is donating money to the needy only a loss?
- Where does what we lose end up?
Stories help in answering these questions.
The first story is about a rich man who decided to help a widowed poor woman in paying the fees of her son while studying medicine at the university.
The son graduated and became a heart specialist. Life separated the paths of the mother and her son from the generous man. A few years later, the old rich man suffered a heavy loss in the stock market. He then suffered from a heart problem. He did not have enough money to pay for his hospitalization…
The news circulated in the press of the health problem of the rich man. The mother read the news and asked her son to travel and do the operation. The son traveled and operated the rich man successfully. Not only the doctor did the surgery for free but also paid the remaining hospitalization bill.
What the rich man donated to help the surgeon complete his studies was the reason for his survival.
Did he lose? I leave the answer to you.
The second story is about my father who was very sick with a bleeding ulcer. A poor man came to visit him and asked for money, which he needed badly. My father gave him the last pound he had. My mother was angry because my father needed to buy medicine and he gave away the last pound. This inspired my father to write a story titled “The Last Pound”. He sent it to BBC/London because the station paid ten pounds for accepted stories and ten pounds for each rehearsal of it.
Listeners loved the story and the BBC repeated it several times upon the request of the listeners. That pound my father gave away was returned to him multifold times.
You gain fame, but you lose privacy. You gain too much money, but you become worried about losing it.
You gain a good reputation and your business grows. It grows so big that you may lose the intimacy of being close to customers. You may lose even most of them.
Do not only look at what you gain or lose. The law of conservation applied. For every gain, there is an equal loss.