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Paying the price

opinionSacred TextsPaying the price

On the insertion of a one-rupee coin, an automatic weighing machine at the airport ejects a neatly printed card showing one’s weight.

Fascinated by this machine, a little boy stood on its footplate, reached up and dropped a one-rupee coin into the appropriate slot. The machine made a rattling noise, then the card, with the child’s weight printed on it, came out of another slot.
The little boy found this amusing. He demanded more coins from his parents and kept repeating the process, just as if it were a game. And the machine never failed to oblige him.

Every time he put in a coin, a card would come out. But, finally he ran out of one rupee coins. He only had a 50 paise coin left. So he just put that in the slot. The machine made the same rattling noise as before, but no printed card appeared. With no response from the machine, the little boy started to cry.

But this was the occasion not to cry but to learn a lesson. The machine’s failure to oblige was a silent reproach to both the child and his parents. Its significance was that everything had its price, and that without paying in full, no one could receive what he wants.

This is a law which applies equally to our present world and to the Hereafter. It is only on payment of the full price that we can receive anything in either of the two worlds. One who is not prepared to pay should have no expectations of receiving anything. This law is immutable and eternal, and no amount of wishful thinking or voicing of protests will ever put an end to it.

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