|A poor man came
to visit a wealthy friend. Late into the night, the two friends ate, drank,
and talked. When the poor man went to bed, he fell into a deep sleep.
In the middle of the night,
a messenger came to inform the rich man that he must go immediately to
a distant land far away. Before he left, he wanted to do something for
his poor friend to show how much he cared for him. But he did not want
to wake his friend from such a deep sleep.
So the wealthy friend sewed
a beautiful colored gem inside the hem of his poor friend’s robe. This
jewel had the power to satisfy all of one’s desires.
The next morning, the poor
man awoke to find himself alone in his wealthy friend’s house. Totally
unaware of anything that had taken place while he was sleeping, he wandered
The poor man traveled from
place to place, looking for work. All the while, he was completely unaware
that he possessed a priceless gem in the hem of his robe.
A long time passed until one
day, by chance, the wealthy friend came upon the poor man in the street.
Seeing the man’s impoverished
condition, the wealthy friend asked him:
“Why have you allowed yourself
to become so poor? You could have used the jewel that I gave you to live
your life in comfort. You must still have it, yet you are living so miserably.
Why don’t you use the gem to get what you need? You can have anything you
Bewildered, the poor man fumbled
through the inside of his robe and, with the help of his friend, found
the gem. Ashamed of his ignorance yet overcome with joy, he realized for
the first time the depth of his friend’s compassion. From then on, the
poor man was able to live comfortably and happily.