Friday, August 20, 2010

The costly whistles

Benjamin Franklin recalls an interesting childhood experience that he had.

When he was seven years old, his friends/family filled his pocket with coppers. He went to a toy shop where he got charmed by the sound of a whistle. Later on they way back he found a similar whistle in the hands of another boy to whom he gave all his coppers in exchange of the whistle. He came back home and happily whistled all over the place in excitement. When his siblings came to know about the bargain, they told poor little Ben that he has paid four times more for the whistle than what it was worth. On this Ben's thoughts shifted focus from the excitement of possessing the whistle to what other good things he would have bought with the rest of the money.

A grown up Benjamin Franklin writes "As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle."

All of us have the experience of having paid too much for our whistles. In personal relationships, professional careers, business transactions and personal beliefs. All of us possess whistles which were very exciting initially but turned out to be too costly later.