The Scholar called his son and asked, “What is more valuable – gold or silver?” “Gold,” said the son. “That is correct. Why is it then that the village Miser makes fun of you, claims you do not know the value of gold or silver? He teases me every day. He mocks me before other village elders as a father who neglects his son. This hurts me. I feel everyone in the village is laughing behind my back because you do not know what is more valuable, gold or silver. Explain this to me, son.”
So the son of the Learned Scholar told his father the reason why the Miser carried this impression. “Every day on my way to school, the Miser calls me to his house. There, in front of all village elders, he holds out a silver coin in one hand and a gold coin in other. He asks me to pick up the more valuable coin. I pick the silver coin. He laughs, the elders jeer, everyone makes fun of me. And then I go to school. This happens every day. That is why they tell you I do not know the value of gold or silver.”
The father was confused. His son knew the value of gold and silver, and yet when asked to choose between a gold coin and silver coin always picked the silver coin. “Why don’t you pick up the gold coin?” he asked. In response, the son took the father to his room and showed him a box. In the box were at least a hundred silver coins. Turning to his father, the Scholar’s son said, “The day I pick up the gold coin the game will stop. They will stop having fun and I will stop making money.”
Moral: Sometimes in life, we have to think and play out of the box. Apparently it looks as if we are losing in the game of life. It just means allowing others to win in one arena of the game, while we win in another. We have to choose which arena matters to us and which does not.