The most valuable items in the world, monetary value wise, are the precious gems and metals that the rich and the famous constantly adorn themselves with. Today’s concept of value is based on tangible items that have a corresponding market value. Gold, which is the peg for most currencies in the world, is the universal currency these days. Nothing of value can be purchased, owned or possessed if it does not justify its “weight in gold”, so to speak. Yet, as the tagline of Mastercard suggests, there are those things that are “priceless.
” In this world, not everything is gold and not everything that resembles something valuable has to glitter. Perhaps a perfect example would be an illustration of a personal experience of mine. I once had an opportunity to witness two lawyers working at their firm in the past. I must admit that I had certain preconceived notions of what I would see at that firm. I expected these senior lawyers to have fancy cars and flashy watches. Yet much to my surprise, they had none of those things.
One lawyer regularly commuted to work while the other preferred to ride his bike to work. There were no glittering watches or pieces of jewelry. One of them could not replace his tattered briefcase with something more decent and perhaps functional. I knew from the moment I saw them that there was much more to them than that. As the day went on, I would see that they had a special touch with their clients. The fact that they knew the cases of their respective clients by heart and even the names of their children and family situation made me see them in a different light.
They did not charge excessive fees and often just accepted small tokens of appreciation in return. The difference that these lawyers made was even more emphasized by an experience later that day when an opposing lawyer entered their firm. A sports car sped by the office window and anyone could see the person driving the convertible that had its top down. In his mid thirties, this young lawyer entered the firm with a certain air of authority, expecting everyone to recognize him.
He had a gold watch would blind the eyes of anyone unfortunate enough to glance at it. He had platinum cuff links on his suit that were adorned with diamonds. Behind him were his assistants who were just as gaudily dressed. It turns out that they represented a large corporation that wanted these two humble lawyers to drop their case against the firm. They were prepared to offer a huge cash settlement in return. I was not surprised when these humble lawyers politely declined the offer and proceeded with the case which they eventually won for their clients.
These were lawyers who were in a position to make millions of dollars yet they chose not to and instead devoted their lives to uphold the justice system of the state and of this great country. There was nothing flashy or fancy about the things that they did but I know that they have made a big difference in this world. This personal experience of mine shows that not everything that glitters is gold; the former lawyer with all the pomp and flash that he had still resorted to underhanded tactics and eventually lost out in the end.
There was no substance to this person. There was no value underneath that entire flashy exterior. The two humble lawyers, on the other hand, showed
Real value sometimes cannot be judged from the flashy exterior and certainly cannot be equated in today’s currency. It is the acts of kindness and selflessness that give value to things in this world, especially human beings. It is easy to be distracted by something shiny and pretty but one must always realize that everything material disappears in the end. All the shine will soon tarnish and fade away. Yet those intangibles that matter will never fade and will always be in the hearts of tho