I’m sure we all want to be joyful. Nobody wants to be sad and grieve, instead we want to rejoice always as long as we live, if possible.
3 Illustrations of Loss
The author does not know whether his reader is now joyful, rejoicing, or not, but he wants to give three illustrations of loss and ask us how we would react if we were to face with such problems.
For example, if today we were to lose a 100 dollars, how would we react? Would we still have joy in our hearts? Some of us might say, “Well, we will still have joy, Sir, but it is quite a pity too.” Why? “If I do not lose the money, my family and I would be able to eat steak, which we had planned quite a while ago. When the money is gone, it means we have to wait again another week or two to enjoy steak.” Perhaps some others would say, “Sir, if only I do not lose the money, I would cook something more delicious for my family, and I have planned to cook seafood.” Thus could be the answers of most of us.
Next, we ask the same question to Mr. X. “Sir, how would you react, if you were to lose a 100 dollars? He replies, “Well, no problem. I just consider it as giving a tip to someone. I planned to give 10 dollars, yet by mistake I have given him 100 dollars instead. But that’s all right with me. ”
Now the second case, “Sir, if you were to lose a 100,000 dollars, how would you react? Would you still have joy?” Perhaps there are among us who answer, “Well, I would be very sad and lose my joy, because I have lived frugally for many years to save for the down payment of a house.” Or someone else may say, “Wow, this would be hard for me, because the money is to provide me for in my old age. If I lose it I do not know what would happen to me later on.”
Then we ask that very same question to Mr. X, “Sir, if you were to lose a 100,000 dollars, how would you react?” Mr. X replies, “Well, no problem, I would not worry about it.”
Now the third case. “What if you were to lose a 100 million dollars?” Maybe most of us would answer, “Losing a 100 million dollars? Wow, I would not be able to bear it, Sir, because all my wealth does not reach that amount. So if I have to lose or owe 100 million dollars, well, I can not imagine how my life would be. I would have to pay it off by working and until I die my debt would never be settled. They can send me debt-collectors, even sue me and throw me into jail. Surely the grief of my life would be unfathomable. There would be no joy in my life. I could never rejoice, and might even want to kill myself, to commit suicide. ”
Then we ask again to Mr. X, “Sir, if you were to lose a 100 million dollars, how would you feel?” Mr. X replies,
“Well I would feel somewhat annoyed, regretting also why I could lose that much money, but so be it.”
Why would those people mentioned in the illustrations, who represent most of us, generally give a negative response as told above, whereas Mr. X who also were to lose a 100 million dollars did not seem to matter, whatsoever? If we consider why so, it is because Mr. X were Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the Facebook, with his wealth of 45 billion dollars! So if he were to lose a 100 million dollars, his fortune would still remain 44 billion 900 million dollars!
What does the author want to convey here? The few or plenty material possessions, or the wealth we own, will affect the degree of grief of a loss. For certain people losing a 100 dollars can make them very sad, if that is all they have. If the money is gone, they can not eat for a few days, can they? But for those who have a lot of money, losing a 100 million dollars is no problem at all, since they still have plenty left. This is a joy based on wealth we own.