What do you see?

Today I share this story with you that a friend shared with me recently:

One day, the father of a wealthy family took his son, Johnny, on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of a family Johnny’s father considered poor. When returning home, the father asked his son, “Johnny, how did you like the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah.”

“So, tell me, what did you learn?”

Johnny answered: “I saw that we have one dog. They had four. We have a pool that reaches the middle of our garden, and they have a creek with no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden. They have the stars at night.

“We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go further than I can see.

“We have people who serve us at our house, but they are people who serve others. We buy our food. They grow theirs.

“We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”

His father was speechless.

Then Johnny added, “Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

During this trip, Dad apparently wanted Johnny to focus on what the family they visited didn’t have. Instead, Johnny saw what they did have and how that family was wealthy in ways he wasn’t.

Too often we classify groups or individuals in our society as those who have and those who do not. Even the wealthiest see lack in their circumstances while the poorest of the poor see great wealth in theirs. It all comes down to perspective. So, no matter where you are or what you have, the next time you want to fill a void in your life, don’t start doing things differently—start seeing things differently.


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