For this week, here’s a story. Try to figure out the lesson.
Terrence simply didn’t care.
He didn’t care if he took that apple from the food stall even if the store owner was looking. He didn’t care if he took that boy’s new scooter. He didn’t care if the little girl cried when he took the bicycle. He didn’t care at all. He wanted those things and he doesn’t care at all. He gets what he wants after all.
So it’s not a surprise when he saw that small sparkly rock in Elise’s hand. He watched intently as Elise held the rock at eye level to marvel at its beauty. It was nice and shiny and looked important. It was pretty and might even be valuable. He watched as Elise slid the rock inside a small leather pouch and carefully put it inside her backpack. He knew what he had to do. This rock was soon going to be his.
He didn’t care if Elise was a friend. He didn’t even care if she cried. She’s the daughter of a geologist so her dad probably could get her another one wherever it came from. He didn’t care as long as whatever it takes, he gets that rock.
His plan was marvellously simple.
He followed Elise as she was walking in the street. She was bound to stop in an intersection. While waiting for the green light, he slowly opened the bag an inch at a time. When the opening was big enough, he would stick his hand in and grab the pouch.
If it fails, he could always slash the backpack and get the pouch by force.
But that wasn’t necessary. It didn’t take long for Elise to walk in a crowded street. He didn’t even have to wait for an intersection. He was able to snuck really close to the girl and open her bag. Slowly and surely he was able to grab his prize.
Once his hand was on the pouch, he quickly ran away while totally opening Elise’s bag. The bag’s contents spilled out with a surprised Elise scrambling to pick up her things. Other people were instantly there to help. This gave Terrence enough time to sneak out. He didn’t care what happened next, what’s important was that the stone was his.
He hid in an alley. He waited for a few minutes for any sign of pursuit. Then he ran off towards one of his favourite hang-out places.
For the entire day, he stared at the rock. He held it over his eye and watched it gleam. It sparkled like a diamond. He felt the curves of the rock in the palms of his hands. He felt it slide in the palm of his hands. He was now the owner of the rock.
“Man! This is beautiful!” He said.
That is just the first day.
On the succeeding days, he would marvel at the rock’s beauty. He would look at it, caress it and even smell and lick it.
Slowly but surely, his life revolved around that rock.
He ate with the rock.
He slept with the rock.
He travelled with the rock.
He basically did everything with the rock clutched in his hands. He often played with it on his hands. He wouldn’t even part from it. He rarely puts it in his pocket or bag for fear of someone taking it away from him. Soon, he avoided his usual hang outs like diners or restaurants. He rarely hanged out with his friends. He feared that anyone who would see him might see the rock and try to take it away from him.
Days became weeks.
Weeks became months.
Months became years.
One day the police came Terrence’s house. There was a complaint of a man shouting and rambling inside. The neighbours were afraid that it might be something bad. There they a house full of fire arms and ammunition. There were also all sorts of weapons for protection.
When they looked inside Terrence was sprawled on the floor. His body was weak and thin. His haggard face was unrecognizable with the bloodshot eyes, unkempt hair and unshaven beard. He looked older and more fragile. He was babbling and mumbling. He was so weak that he couldn’t protect himself. He had to be supported by the policemen as they drag him to an ambulance to a hospital.
In his hand was the rock. It was tarnished and dirty. The sparkle was gone. But it was still the rock. The police took it despite protests from the weakened man. They tested it and found out that it was just a dirty limestone.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?