An old Greek parable for entrepreneurs (39)
What will you build in your lifetime?
A man had two sons and he assigned each of them to build a house for themselves in a tired old town that showed prospect. It appeared to be a good investment for their future.
The time came for the father to inspect what each son had built.
He visited the first son who built his house on top of the hill overlooking the town below.
When the father started looking throughout the house on the hill, it was evident that this son spared no expense and the architectural detail and materials used was of the highest quality.
The father compliments his son on the building, however the father makes one comment that could be taken as negative. “As I walk through your house appreciating the building, it feels cold and isolated”
The father went on to visit the second son’s house which was apparently built in the township.
As the father and second son walked through the town, a voice from a shop keeper calls out to the son “Please have dinner at my house tonight and bring your father”
… then another shopkeeper calls out “You must have lunch this Saturday at my house, I’d like to introduce your father to my family”
…. voices of strangers called out to the son and the father offering a bed and food or transportation.
The father amused by all the generosity and how sociable everyone was and in particular how much they admired his son.
Then the father asks to see the second son’s house. The son responds, “This is my house, this town. I invested in all the businesses and the people, helping them rebuild their town. They provide food for me, a bed and company.
The father mused by the unexpected answer. Being a wise old man, he responds to his son’s choice of investment. “You have indeed built the most magnificent home rather than choosing to build a house yourself”
Note : My father shared the above parable to me as a young boy and it has always resonated the question “What will I build in my lifetime, a house or a home”
~ Dimitri Smilovitis (My father)
The picture was drawn for me to illustrate the parable by my good friend and artist Mark Bruning, look him up on Instagram.
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