Gide to True way of Living continued…………
In family life , the question as to how the daily expenses are to be met always requires the utmost care. Every member must work heard like the diligent ants and busy bees. No one must rely upon the industry of others, or expect their charity.
On the other hand , a man must not consider what he has earned as totally his own. Some of it must be shared with others, some of it must be saved for an emergency, some of it must be set aside for the needs of the community and the nation, and some of it must be devoted to the need of the religious teachers.
One should always remember that nothing in the world can strictly be called ” mine “. What comes to a person comes to him because of combination of causes and conditions ; it can be kept by him only temporarily and, therefore , he must not use it selfishly or for unworthy purposes.
When Shamawathie , the queen-consort of King Udayana , offered Ananda Thero five hundred garments , Ananda Thero received them with great satisfaction.
The king hearing of it , suspected Ananda Thero of dishonesty , so he went to Ananda Thero & asked what he was going to do with five hundred garments.
Ananda Thero replied : ” Oh, King , many of the brothers are in rags; I am going to distribute the garment among the brothers . ”
” What will you do with the old garments?”
“We will make bed -covers out of them”.
“What will you do with the old bed-covers?”
“We will make pillow- cases”.
“What will you do with the old pillow-cases?.”
“We will make floor -covers out of them”.
“What will you do with the old floor-covers?”.
“We will use them for foot -towels”.
“What will you do with the old foot -towels?”.
“We will use them for floor -mops”.
“What will you do with the old mops?”.
“Your Highness, we will tear them into pieces , mix them with mud and use the mud to plaster the house walls.”
Every article entrusted to us must be used with good care in some useful way, because it is not ” ours ” but is only entrusted to us temporarily.