A successful business man comes home from work one day and finds that someone has broken into his well secured mansion. He immediately calls the police and begins to run through the house checking all the rooms, he checked his wife’s jewelery, it was still there, he checked the hidden safe, it was untouched, the exotic cars in the garage, not a scratch, more and more he noticed that anything of real value was not taken. The police on the phone where getting frustrated, ” Sir, what is missing from the house?” in an attempt to start a police report the officer asked.. When the man finally replied he was standing in his office, he was looking at the massive bookshelf behind his desk. ” My books” he said. Someone stole my books. The man knowing his family was not home at the time felt some relief that all in all the only thing lost was part of his library which all could be replaced with a trip to the book store. Soon time had passed and the businessman forgot about the whole incident.
Years later a young man about twenty five or so approached the mansion requesting to speak to the owner of the house. The owner came to the door and asked the young man how he could be of service to him. The young man, kind of shaken up replied. Mr. Johnston a few years back it was me who broke into your house, and I’m here today to not only apologize for my actions but also return all your books. You see while I was in your house that day in your office something hit me that made me think how does one acquire all this wealth. I thought taking your possessions would somehow make me feel rich and better about myself, yet I realized what I was missing was the knowledge I needed to be like you.
A few days latter I turned myself into the police and told them what I had done. Three days after that I was released from jail and told the case had been dropped. At that time I began to read every book I took from you word for word, I applied all the principals and knowledge I’d attain to starting my own business’s and I worked day and night to make sure I did not fail you sir. And today I stand before you a changed man with a new focus on life, my business’s are very successful and I have made a lot of money and have attained many things, yet my life was not yet complete until I have paid my debt to you in full. In respect to your sacrifice I want to offer you your share of all my profits. At that point the man was moved by the presence of the young man’s confession. He invited him into his home and took him to his office where they both sat. He then said to the the young man “Son as you can see I have replaced all my books that were taken from me that day, a few are the same, but most of them are new. You know that day I realized that the most important possession I had, was my knowledge, and that nobody could ever take that away from me, everything else could be replaced, even some books”.
The man then reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a piece of paper with a hand written letter on it and began to read it aloud to the young man. It said. Dear Sir, Against the law I have entered your home with the intent to steal your valuables and prized possessions at which time I realized that my life was not worth a dime. Please find it in your heart to forgive me for taking these books so I can hopefully have some insight into your world, at some point I will return them and repay you. The young man begun to cry. To him he had fulfilled his promise in the letter and it affected him. Mr. Johnston looked at the young man and said. Your debt has been paid, and I forgave you the moment I read this letter. What started off as a selfish act ended in an act of desperation that manifested into a gift of opportunity with both sacrifice and reward, you have passed many of life’s test. Are you a better person now than you where then? If the answer’s yes then lets talk business.
Written By Damien Black
This story was created in response to a part in a book that I read where the writer states that the robber should be stealing the books of a rich man not his possessions or something of that nature. This is a story I created to express that idea, all credit is due to the writer of that thought I just was trying to expand on that thought. As soon as I know the source of that thought I will give proper credit.