Many of us struggle with self-worth and rely on what others have to say. This story will change your perspective!
A young man who was down on his luck went to see a wise man for some guidance. He said:
“I have come seeking advice, for I am haunted by feelings of worthlessness. I don’t want to live anymore. Everyone tells me I’m a foolish failure. Please, master, can you help me?”
The wise man glanced at him and answered quickly:
“I’m terribly sorry, but I am very busy at the moment and can’t help you. There’s an urgent matter I need to attend to.”
He paused, thought for a bit, and then added:
“But if you help me, I will happily return the favor.”
The young man noted, with a pang in his chest, that his concerns had once again been dismissed. But he agreed to help the wise man nonetheless.
The older man handed him a small ring with a beautiful gem and said:
“Take this ring, along with my horse, and go into the market. I need to sell this ring to pay off a debt. Don’t settle for anything less than one gold coin. Go straight there and come back as fast as you can!”
The young man took the ring and galloped off on the horse.
When he got to the market, he showed the ring to various vendors. Each examined it with interest. But as soon as they heard the young man would only sell the ring for one piece of gold or more, they all laughed and turned him away.
The young man was confused until he got to one vendor who was nice enough to explain that a gold coin was much too high a price to pay for the ring and that the best he could do was a silver coin.
The young man was very discouraged by these words. Fed up with his failure to sell the ring for the desired price, he saddled up the horse and set off in the direction of the old man.
“Master, I’ve failed,” he said. “The best offer I could find for the ring was one silver coin, but you told me not to settle for less than one gold coin! One vendor told me the ring is really not worth that much.”
The wise man responded:
“Oh, I had no idea! Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to establish how valuable the ring actually is. Take it over to a jeweler and ask what his price is. But don’t sell it to him, no matter what he offers you. Come right back to me instead.”
The young man hopped up on the horse again and set off in the direction of the jeweler.
The jeweler examined the ring through a magnifying glass and then proceeded to weigh it. Once he’d finished evaluating it, he turned to the young man and said:
“Right now I can’t give you more than 58 gold coins for the ring. But if you give me some time, I’ll buy it for 70.”
“70 gold coins?!” the young man exclaimed. He burst into a smile, thanked the jeweler and raced back to the wise man.
When he told the story, the old man looked at him and said:
“Remember, my boy, that you are like this ring – you’re precious and unique. Only a real expert can appreciate your true value. Why waste your time listening to the opinions of fools in the market?”