Fortune and Loss
In these volatile economic times fortune and disaster are two sides of the same coin. Not too long ago thousands lost their life savings when the stock market nose dived (crashed) and banks and other financial organizations, even some countries, stood on the brink of collapse. It took a cooperative, concerted effort of the world financiers to avert this global disaster and to stabilize economies. Conversely, like the shifting of the Earth’s crust, the precarious financial stability in many countries barely persists. Such are the odds of life, where layoffs versus new acquisitions, inventions and good jobs, meanwhile lotteries churn up millionaires weekly or monthly. I’m reminded of a story of a much simpler time, when honour, morality and personal worth still counted for something.
Long, long ago, in a somewhat inconsequential province, an honourable man Donato, finally recognized for his brilliance, gained a very illustrious post. From that day on, his guests swarmed to his residence. But when he was dismissed from office on a false charge, his residence grew so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Only one had remained consistent in his friendship. This unassuming young man called Yorick, who was not particularly well off, still called on Donato and did his best to uplift the other’s spirits.
After terrible months of hardship the real culprit was caught and Donato was exonerated then reinstated to his former prominence. His so called absentee friends wanted to call on Donato again.
He at once wrote some big words on a placard and had it posted at the gate of his residence. The words in bold lettering stated:
“The best time to determine the mettle of your associates and friends is not when you are exalted but when you are humiliated.
The best occasion to gauge genuine sincerity of others’ attitudes is, the moment you fall from grace and become pathetic or poor.
The best moment to uncover those who are earnest and true-hearted would be, when one is deceased or, happily when one escapes death.
Welcome, all who are as true of heart as Yorick.”