My mother told me a story when I was a kid. There was this rich man who was a very extravagant and wasteful man, and a wouldn’t-care-less type of a person. Every day his horde of servants would throw away useful things. When preparing meals, the kitchen staff would carelessly spill large amount of rice into a drain which flowed down hill past a monastery.
The chief abbot of the monastery was disgusted with such daily wastage and instructed his monks to use a sieve to trap the rice flowing down the drain, dry them in the sun, pack them into bags, and store in the temple’s warehouse. This rice retrieval went on for a number of years.
Due to some misfortune, the rich man lost all his wealth and became a pauper, and had to resort to begging for a living. One day he visited the monastery and begged for a meal. The abbot recognised him and quickly told his monks to serve him a hearty meal, for which the rich man was very thankful.
The abbot said: “You need not thank me. The rice you are eating now actually belongs to you”. The former rich man was surprised: “I don’t understand?” The chief monk then explained how his monks had retrieved the rice wasted by this rich man in former days. The rich man understood his misdeeds which caused him to lose all his wealth
We can learn a lesson from this story. Sometimes, when I pass by a coffeeshop or a eating place, I see people order large portions of foods, but unable to eat all, leaving behind much leftovers. Many people have forgotten that Singapore has, in its history, gone through ups and downs, and just because we are having good time now, we throw caution to the winds. If we ever placed on a complacent mood, please remember the above story.
Photo courtesy of: Morton Fox
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