“Once a young man came to a wise man and said,
“I’ve come to you because I feel so worthless that I don’t want to live anymore.
Everyone around me says that I’m a failure and a fool.
I’m begging you, please help me!”
The wise man glanced at him and hurriedly answered, “I’m sorry, but I’m very busy now and can’t possibly help you.
I have an urgent matter to take care of….” he stopped for a moment, thinking, then added,
“But if you agree to help me get this done, then I will gladly help you afterwards.”
“Of…of course,” murmured the young man, noting bitterly that yet again his concerns had been dismissed as unimportant.
“Great!” said the wise man and took off from his fingers a small ring with a beautiful gem.
“Take a horse and go to the market.
I have to sell this ring as soon as possible to pay off a debt.
Try to get as much as you can for it and, no matter what, do not agree to anything less than a gold coin.
Go now and come back as soon as you can!”
The young man took the ring and rode away.
When he got to the market, he offered the ring to the merchants and they looked it over with interest.
However, as soon as they heard that it will cost at least a gold coin, they lost all interest.
Some laughed right in his face, others simply turned away, and only one older merchant kindly explained
that a gold coin is too high of a price for such a ring and the most he could get for it would be a silver coin or a bronze.
When the young man heard that, he was distraught, remembering the wise man’s directions to not take any less than a gold coin.
He went through the entire market and offered the ring to over a hundred people, but nothing changed.
He got on his horse and rode back to the wise man.
“I wasn’t able to sell your ring,” he said with sadness.
“No one was willing to pay me a gold coin for it.
I could have gotten a silver coin, but that’s not what this ring is worth.”
“Now that’s a very important point, my son!” said the wise man.
“Before trying to sell a ring, you should find out what it’s worth!
And who can know better than a jeweller?
Go to the jeweller and ask him what he will offer us for the ring.
But no matter what he says, don’t sell him the ring, just come back to me right away.”
The young man jumped on his horse and rode to the jeweller.
The jeweller carefully and patiently examined the ring, weighed it on his scale, then turned to the young man.
“Tell your master that right now I can’t give him more than 58 gold coins.
But if he gives me sometime, I’ll buy it for 70, to compensate for the wait!”
“70 gold coins!” the young man exclaimed.
He laughed, thanked the jeweller and raced back to the wise man.
The wise man listened to the account of what happened and looked at the young man in the eyes.
” Remember this, my son.
You are like this ring — precious and unique! And only a real expert can appreciate your true worth.
So why are you wasting your time going to random people to find out what it is?”
text adapted from cespeta.wordpress.com