The Richest Person on Earth

I just got done reading my life application email today and felt compelled to write a quick post. Many of you know that I have my own business and have developed a position to not do business with others unless I truly feel like the business transaction is going to be a win-win situation. I actually prefer it to be win-win-win. I believe this is how it should be.

In any case and moving on… the email references a Bob Green column. I am not sure when the column ran and the title of the column for the purposes of this post are irrelevant but the story is what got me to stop and think.

Here is the story set up:

A gem dealer goes to a mineral show. There he meets a man who wanders creek beds, looking for interesting stones. This man was displaying some of the stones he had found. Among the smaller stones the dealer saw a large rock. Now, the man who had it on display thought that, that was all it was–a big rock.

But this gem dealer knew otherwise. He recognized it as a star sapphire. The biggest star sapphire he had ever seen. The gem dealer knew that the owner had no idea of the true worth of the stone. He bargained with owner and eventually ended up paying $10 for the rock.

Later, after the true value of the stone was known, the gem dealer reported that it’s worth $2.5 million.

When I read this story, I literally gasped. I know, I should not have been shocked (realize, my hubby does tease that I live in my own fantasy world). Yet, I gasped and was completely appalled. My immediate thought was that the gem dealer completely ripped off that poor guy who had “the rock” on display. I wondered how anyone could do that and act in such an unfair manner?

Before allowing myself to stop my thought process, I continued… I asked myself what could or would I have done differently if I had been that gem dealer?

Greene’s original column included examples of possible alternate courses of action the dealer might have chosen. Things like when the gem dealer sees the star sapphire and instead of purchasing it for $10, he tells the man of its real worth and urges him to get some advice about what a fair asking price is before selling it or even sharing a portion of the profits after the stone gets sold for it’s true value. I would like to think that I would have at least chosen the second of those two options.

My mind wandered deeper and I contemplated the perspective of the prospector. I wondered how many times in business I might have already been in this situation without realizing it. It sure does make the concept of due diligence abundantly clear. Understanding due diligence I had to ask objectively, “was this really an unfair act?” Both parties are ultimately responsible for determining and agreeing to the final outcome.


The worldly lesson seems to be that no one needs to do much of anything or provide much value and that the ones that normally come out ahead are the one’s that take advantage of of everything they can without regard to others at all.

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

~ Matt 16:26

The whole point of the Life Application is to illustrate how easily the ways of the world can interfere with who we are truly capable of becoming while here on earth.

Jesus said that his values are the opposite of the world’s and that people who follow him will be misunderstood. True followers of Christ won’t fit into society.’

~ New Living Translation, Leadership Devotional

We should be reminding ourselves that the Bible says that who we are on the inside is more important than our outward appearance and the way we achieve our goals is as important as the goals themselves. Seeking Christ and his kingdom is infinitely more important than being the richest person on earth. Somehow, I find comfort in that.

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