Monday, July 6, 2009

The Choice

A wealthy man was about to die. so he called his twin sons to his bedside. The boys began to cry as they heard their father speak about his approaching death, but with a wave of his hand the father silenced them.

"I am leaving you both with a gift," he told his boys, "I want you to enjoy the same happiness I had during my long life. Which gift you choose is up to you."
The man reached into a beautiful box on his bedside table and held out two gifts. One gift was a thousand $1000-dollar bills-a million dollars in cash. The other gift was a single, shiny copper penny.
"You both have the same choice-either one million or one penny. If you choose the million, it will be deposited in my bank in town and you can use it however you want. If you choose the penny, I will double the pennies you have everyday for the next thirty-one days. Now, go rest and think. Come back tomorrow morning and tell me your choices."

He kissed them both and sent them on their way.

Late that night the first boy lay in bed thinking, "Why is our father giving us this choice? Which should I take?" He was unable to sleep. But the more he thought about his father's choices, the more he was sure about taking the penny.
The second son didn't lose any sleep. He had made his decision the moment his father had held out that sheaf of thousand-dollar bills. He was going to take the million dollars and he was already making big plans about what he was going to do with the money.

The next day the two boys went to see their father. The first son took the penny, and the second son took the million dollars.
A few days later, the boy decided to visit his brother, to see what he was doing with his penny.
"As father promised," the first son said, "my pennies have been doubling every day. On the second day, I had two pennies. On the third day I had four pennies. On the fourth day, there were eight." The second son wasn't impressed. After all, he already had a million dollars and was sure to make a lot more.
Over the next weeks, the second son visited his brother every day and listened to him describe how his pennies were piling up. On Day 5, he had sixteen pennies; on Day 6, thirty-two; by week's end the boy had 64 cents. And by the end of the second week, had had $81.92.

A few days into the third week, the first son's pennies had grown to $655.35. But the second son was still not impressed. On Day 28, the first boy's pennies had passed the million-dollar mark. On Day 29, he passed the two-and-a-half-million mark. On Day 30, his pennies totaled five million. And on Day 31, he had $10,737,418.24.

The boy who chose the penny had discovered the extraordinary power of compound interest-how money, even a very small amount of money-can grow over time.
The first son also understood that their father was giving them more than money.

The true gift was wisdom in knowing how to respect and use money.

The boy who chose the million had his $1 million. But the boy who chose the penny was worth more than ten million dollars. Because he wasn't greedy, because he was careful with his money, and because he understood how money can grow over time, he achieved true wealth. The choice the wealthy man offered his two sons is the same choice the world offers you every day:

Small actions compound over time into big results.

The actions you take today, whether it's about money, friendships, or your health, can have a huge impact on you life over time.

-Page 99 of "Success for TEENS " by the editors of the SUCCESS Foundation.

Help us get SUCCESS for TEENS book in the hand of Youth

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