Wealth Is in the Heart
BY CARAL GOH
ILLUSTRATION BY FEI
1， A well-dressed lady was walking down a street when she saw a man pulling an old cart, selling coconuts. Thirsty, she decided to refresh herself with coconut water.
2， “How much?” she asked. “Five dollars for one,” the man said. “So expensive!” she exclaimed. “It’s not so much,” he replied.
3， “Five dollars for two and I’ll buy.” she bargained. With sadness in his eyes, he said, “All right, since I didn’t make any sales at all today.”
4， She took the two coconuts, feeling triumphant about her successful bargaining. The coconut vendor watched her walk away, his expression downcast.
5， The woman made her way to a restaurant. where she was scheduled to enjoy dinner with friends. The group was delighted to catch up over a hearty meal. Happy chatter filled the table. The woman thought no more of the coconut vendor.
6， After a couple of hours. they decided to call it a night. leaving plenty of delicious leftovers on the table. The waiter brought the bill —80 dollars in total. The young woman gave the waiter 100 dollars. “Keep the change,” she told him with a smile.
To a waiter in a busy restaurant, such a tip is commonplace. To a man struggling to make ends meet, those extra dollars could be sufficient for a meal that feeds his entire family. Oftentimes, people are very generous toward those who are well-off and not in need of help. Ironically, some of those same people take advantage of others who are less fortunate.
Be mindful when you bargain. A small savings on your end may be taking away from a person or people in need. A hardworking vendor may be struggling to feed and provide education for his children.
If the extra dollars are going to mean the difference between nourishment and misery for the vendor, don’t bargain. Spend from the heart, which is where true wealth resides.