Life Lesson: Poor Man Chooses 3 Pieces of Advice Instead of His 20-Years Salary

August 6, 2019 Updated: August 6, 2019

Words of Wisdom aims to highlight important morals, which we feel our readers will benefit from reading. We hope you enjoy this fable.

One of the hardest tests we all have to face in our lives is to be patient—just focus on doing what we should and then just hang on, waiting patiently. Often, we need to make sacrifices as a test of our faith and trust in our “inherently good knowing side” and to the compassionate divines above. Our choices can turn out to be critical—but if we manage to stick to that one spark of goodness within us, the outcome is sure to be a positive one.

Illustration – Shutterstock | Joshua Davenport

A young, hardworking farmer who lived on a faraway mountain got married, and after realizing he could not make enough to provide for his wife and any future family, he made the decision to leave and find better employment.

He told his wife, “I need to go and find a well-paid job to be able to give you the kind of life you deserve. I may have to travel far, and be gone for a while. But I make this promise to you: ‘I will forever remain faithful, and I hope you can promise me the same.’”

His wife promised to see no other, and they tearfully bid each other farewell.

After many days of walking, he came upon a farmer desperately in need of help, and was hired on the spot. But the young man wanted an agreement before he started work. “Let me work for you as long as I want, but when I want to go home please release me of my duties. Please keep my wages until I am ready to leave.”

Illustration – Shutterstock | szefei

So he set to work, putting in long, hard days with hardly any rest and no holidays. After 20 years, he went to his boss and said, “It is time for me to leave. Please give me the money I have earned.”

The boss agreed, “You have worked diligently for the past 20 years and accrued quite a sum. However, before I pay you I would like to offer you an alternative. I will not give you the money, but instead offer you three pieces of advice. Remember, if you take the three pieces of advice, you can’t have the money as well. I ask you to go and think about it before you give me your answer.”

Illustration – Max Pixel

For two days, the man pondered on this, then went to his boss and said, “I have thought long and hard about it, and have decided to not take the money, but instead please give me the three pieces of advice.”

The boss stressed that if he gave him the advice, he could not take the money as well. “Please, give the three pieces of advice,” said the man.

So the boss said, “Firstly, don’t take any shortcuts in life, it can be very costly and may even end your life. Second, don’t be overly curious, as curiosity toward evil will be deadly. And third piece of advice—never make a decision when you are angry or suffering, as regret could be endless.”

The man then gave him three loaves of bread and said, “The first two loaves are for you to eat on your journey home, and the third is for you to share with your wife when you get there.”

Illustration – Pixabay | Couleur

So he set off, and on the first day, he met a traveler who inquired, “Where are you heading?”

The man replied, “I need to walk along here for about 20 days.”

“Oh no, you must take this shortcut, it will be far quicker, and only take you five days,” said the traveler.

The man began to take the shorter route but suddenly remembered his boss’s advice, so he turned around and continued on the long road. He later learned he had been going into an ambush.

After several days of walking along the road, he came to a small village, where he asked if he could stay in a shack for the night. In the middle of the night, he was woken by a blood-curdling scream. He jumped to his feet, curious to see what was happening, but as he went to open the door, he remembered his boss’s second piece of advice, so went back to bed.

Illustration – Pexels

The following morning, the owner inquired if he had heard the screaming. When he said indeed he had, the owner asked, “Weren’t you curious as to what was happening?”

“No, not in the slightest,” replied the man.

“You are the only stranger to survive a night here, my neighbor is a madman, he screams out and when someone comes running he kills them and buries their body in the backyard,” said the man.

The man continued on his journey home, and after many weary days and nights, he arrived at his farm.

As night had fallen, he was able to make out his wife’s silhouette in the moonlight, but as he came closer he saw she was not alone—she was caressing another man. Filled with anger and hatred at her betrayal, he wanted to confront them and kill them both. Remembering the third piece of advice, he restrained himself, vowing to make a decision at dawn.

Illustration – Pexels

When the sun rose, he had calmed down and thought, “I will ask my boss for my job back and will not kill my wife and her lover, but before I leave I must tell her I remained faithful all this time.”

He knocked at the door, and when she opened it, she rushed into his arms, but he harshly pushed her aside and tearfully said, “I have remained faithful to you all these years, but you have betrayed me!”

His wife was shocked at his accusation and denied she had done such a thing.

“Who is that man I saw you with last night?” her husband demanded.

“He is our son,” she replied. “I discovered I was pregnant after you left, and our boy turned 20 today.”

With that, they joyfully hugged, and he told them many stories of his adventures on the road. His wife prepared coffee, and with the last loaf of bread, he sat down to share it with them. When he broke it apart, he found his boss had given him all the money earned over the past 20 years, plus much more.

This boss is like our God; he wants us to have so much. Sometimes, we have to suffer and trust in Him to receive our reward.