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Impromptu / Extempore  speeches

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6. Real wealth is never measured in money or possessions

Only a foolish man would belittle the value of money. For money is really some kind of energy and power in a codified form. It is a fuel that drives the machine of social living. You might have heard people saying that money is nothing and such words. Maybe they are the rich, or maybe they have not suffered the pangs of poverty. Do not believe them. Money is a basic requisite for social living, just as blood is an absolute necessity for life.

Yet, money is not everything, just like blood is not everything in life. There are other things also of equal or even more importance. The most essential requisite in a human life is happiness. If you are happy, then it is an attainment that nothing else can deliver.

I remember this story which I had I read when I was a kid. There was a king in a European nation. He was always crazy about his own comfort, and happiness. He went in for the sweet sides of life, such as luxurious food, intoxicating drinks, and delicious dances. Such idle luxury led him to a health breakdown. No one could cure him. At last a famous physician came and pronounced that the cure was simple. He just had to wear the shirt of a happy subject of his, just one time. He would be cured of his mysterious ailment!¬

The fact was that under the miserable rule of this useless king, all the subjects were suffering. The soldiers rushed to the east and then to the west, and to the north and then to the south. They could find no man, who could truthfully admit that he was truly happy. However, in one town, the soldiers came upon a wandering man, a sort of beggar, in a most delightful mood. He was singing and cracking jokes, and was thus entertaining the crowd around him. The soldiers immediately asked him, ‘Are you happy?’ He replied, ‘Yes, I am. I have no care in this world.’

The soldiers immediately had him taken to the royal court and into the king’s presence. The king had been lying down in his bed. He rose up and remained seated in his bed. He said, ‘Oh, the only-happy-man-in-my-kingdom, lend me your shirt for one day.’

The happy man simply smiled and laughed. He said, ‘I would be very glad to lend you my shirt, Oh my King. But then, I do not have a shirt!’

Well gentlemen, this story, I suppose, does bring out the dilemma that exists in our conception about money and happiness.

In my opinion, the real intrinsic wealth a man can possess is happiness - clear, candid and flawless. Nothing less, nothing more!

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