I found the following story on the Internet. The author is unknown, but I thought the tale and its lesson well worth sharing.
A man came home late from work one evening tired and irritated, only to find his five-year old son waiting for him at the door.
“Daddy, may I ask you a question?” the boy asked.
“Yeah, sure, what is it?” the man replied a bit grumpily.
“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”
“That’s none of your business,” the man said angrily. “Why do you ask such a thing?”
“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” “If you must know, I make $50 an hour.”
“Oh,” the little boy replied with his head down. “Daddy, may I please borrow $25?”
The father was furious.
“If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don’t work hard every day to pay for such childish frivolities.”
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and began to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions just to get some money? After an hour or so, the man calmed down and started to think about what had happened.
Maybe there was something the boy really needed to buy with that $25, and he really did not ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the boy’s room and opened the door.
“Are you asleep, son?” he asked. “No, daddy, I’m awake,” the boy replied.
“I’ve been thinking; maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation out on you. Here’s the $25 you asked for.” The little boy sat straight up, smiling broadly.
“Oh, thank you, daddy!” he cried. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out a wad of crumpled up bills. Seeing that the boy already had money, the man felt his anger rising again as he watched his son slowly count his money. As he carefully placed the last bill in place, he looked up at his father with a broad smile.
“Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” said the little boy. “Daddy, now I have $50, so I would like to buy an hour of your time. Please come home early tomorrow, I would like to have dinner with you.”
The man was crushed. He put his arms around his son and begged him for forgiveness.
This story is a reminder to all of us who work so hard in this modern, fastpaced age that we should not let life slip through our fingers without spending time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts.
Remember to share $50 worth of your time with someone you love. If we die tomorrow, the company we work for will easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.
Grant Miller may be contacted by calling 305-669-7355, ext. 216, or by sending email to < firstname.lastname@example.org >.