From the king’s castle, Rodan, the spear-smith of the Babylonian kingdom, joyfully steered his horse to fly home.
The gold coins clashed with the sound of shovels and the heavy leather bag swinging back and forth at his belt delighted him. Fifty gold coins! Money that, perhaps throughout Rodan’s life, he did not dare to dream that one day he would own them.
Fifty gold coins! It’s all yours! He understands that this is a huge asset, and at the same time, he also feels the intense power of coins. Because, from here you can buy houses, land, cattle, camels, horses, carriages… These things can be bought during his life of hard work.
The horse was still running along the familiar road, and Rodan, he could think of nothing but the plans for those fifty gold coins. What would he buy, how would he use it to maintain this money? and secure a rich life for you.
A few days later, one afternoon, Rodan hesitantly entered the store of Mathon, a gold lender who traded in jewelry and precious fabrics. He didn’t care about the attractive goods on display, but crossed and headed to the reception room. There, he met Mathon sitting on a large rug and enjoying a meal served by black slaves.
Rodan boldly said:
– I want to ask your opinion on a matter that I do not know how to do.
Mathon was quite surprised by Rodan’s statement, but then he smiled friendly and said:
– What makes you feel so awkward that you have to go to the gold lender for advice, Mr. Rodan? Have you lost the silver? Or are you in need? I have known him for many years, but have never seen him come to me for advice.
– Don’t think like that! It’s not that I’m needy or a loser. I have not come here to borrow gold, but because I need your wise advice.
– Woh! Really! What are you talking about? So far, no one has gone to a gold lender to ask for advice. My ears must have misheard, right, Mr. Rodan?
-You didn’t hear me wrong!Mr. Rodan!
“Is that so!What’s up? Are you trying to play a prank on me when you come to find this Mathon not to borrow gold, but to need some advice?” Many people have come to me just for the sake of gold to pay for their foolish deeds, but I have not seen anyone come to me for advice, although perhaps none better than the gold lenders by in giving the best advice to those who are worryed about money.
“Sit down and dine with me, Mr. Rodan!” – Mathon continued – You will be a my guest this afternoon. Ado! -He called his black slave. – Bring an extra rug, lots of food, a big cup too. My friend Rodan here is asking me for advice! Ah! Choose the best wine for us to invite guests to enjoy. This afternoon, Rodan will be my guest.
– Any! Now tell me, what problems are you facing?
– This comes from the gift the king gave me. – Rodan said.
– A gift from the king? The king gave you a gift and that confused you? What kind of gift is that, Mr. Rodan?
– Because he was very pleased with my decorative design on the swords of the royal guard, the king rewarded me with fifty gold coins. I have never had such a large sum of money. So now I feel downright bewildered.
– That is natural. Because there are many people who see gold, their eyes light up and the desire to possess it is evident on their faces. You shouldn’t let many people know about this!
– But if you don’t share this with your family members, will you be able to do it?
With a reward like this, why can’t you share it with your loved ones? I’m sure your old sister won’t take your joy away.
“Perhaps, but it is different for Mr. Araman, my old sister’s husband, whom my sister still aspires to be a rich merchant. My sister didn’t realize that he was never capable of becoming a successful merchant. So, my old sister told me to lend this gold to her husband to trade. Later, when the business thrives, he will pay me.
– Hey, Mr. Rodan! This is a matter worth discussing, and you are very wise to come and consult with me. – Mathon said – Gold gives its owner a new responsibility and a new place in life. At the same time, it also brings a strong feeling, a capacity to act to achieve better results. But on the other hand, it also brings with it the fear of being lost or being deceived by others.
Have you ever heard the story of the farmer in Nineveh who understood the voices of animals? I don’t think this is just a joke people make up in their spare time.
I’m going to tell you so that you realize that lending isn’t just about transferring gold from one person to another.
“There was a farmer who understood the voices of animals, so every afternoon, he used to linger in the barn to listen to the animals talk. One afternoon, the farmer heard the bull complain to the donkey about his hard work:
– I pulled the plow hard from early morning until late at night, even though it was very sunny, my legs were tired or my neck was sore. On the contrary, his life was always peaceful and happy. Every day, he was wrapped in a colorful blanket and did nothing but carry his boss wherever he liked. And if the boss didn’t go anywhere, he could just lie down and graze on young grass all day.
Hearing you say that, the donkey, even though it is suffering from the scratches on its heels from carrying its master all day on rough roads, still shows that it is a good friend and has a lot of sympathy for the cow, so it should say:
– Hey, dear friend, seeing that you work very hard, I also want to help you. I will show you how to have a comfortable rest day. Tomorrow morning, when the slave comes and ties the plow to your neck, lie down and roar loudly. They’ll think you’re sick and stop making you work.
So the next morning the bull lay down on the ground following the advice of the donkey.
The slave returned to the farm to report, and the farmer said:
– Then make the donkey do the ox’s plowing.
All that day, out of goodwill to help the cow, the donkey had to do the ox’s work. In the evening, when the plow was removed, the donkey felt very bitter in his heart, his legs and feet were tired, and the back of his neck was sore from being rubbed by the yoke all day.
At that time, the farmer purposely returned to the barn to listen. The bull spoke first:
– You are indeed my good friend. Because thanks to your wise advice, I enjoyed a very comfortable rest day.
– And I, like other idiots, at first wanted to help you avoid doing heavy work, but in the end I had to do it for you. From here, you have to take care of your own business. Because, I heard the boss say he will butcher you when you get sick again. You really are a lazy man!
The bull was very angry at the donkey’s words. Since then, they don’t talk to each other anymore. This also ended the friendship of cows and donkeys.” Did you learn anything from this story, Mr. Rodan?
– It’s a very interesting story. But I didn’t learn any lesson. Rodan replied.
Why can’t you learn a lesson? In fact, it’s as simple as that: “If you want to help your friends, you have to make sure that the burden doesn’t shift from your friends to yourself.”
– Oh! But I didn’t think of it. It was a wise lesson and much needed for my case now. I don’t want to take the burden from my brother in law. But tell me, you’ve lent money to many people, so is it possible that those people won’t pay you back?
Mathon smiled calmly, demonstrating the bravery of a person who has been experienced in lending money:
– If you are a smart and calculating lender, you must use some means to ensure that the borrower will pay back the amount borrowed, with interest, of course. I will show you the mortgages I keep from the borrower and will tell you some interesting stories about this.
Mathon went into his bedroom and pulled out a rather large trunk, about an arm’s length in length, wrapped in red pig skin and decorated with bronze sculptures. Mathon left the box on the floor, squatted down, opened the lid with both hands, and said:
– For each person who comes to borrow money, I ask them to leave some of their belongings as proof. All are carefully stored in this box by me. When the borrower comes to pay, I will return the item. But if they don’t pay, I will keep the item forever as proof that the person has betrayed my trust.
In my opinion, lending money to people who own a lot of properties is the safest. Of course, the amount they borrowed should not be more than the value of their property, so that if necessary, they would sell their land, precious jewels, camels or other items to pay off the debt. For these people, when I lend money, I often ask them to provide collateral.
If they can’t repay the loan, the thing they have mortgaged will be mine or I will sell it to make up for the amount I lent. Also, is there another way to make sure my loan amount is not lost. That is to make an evidence card, on which the promise is recorded, if the debtor is unable to pay by the due date, they must give me something of equal value to deduct. In these ways, it is certain that the gold I lent must be repaid along with the interest. Because, the loan job on an asset basis that returns over time.
There are a few other people that I also feel comfortable lending to them. Those are people who have the ability to make money, like you. Having a job and a stable income, being honest and self-respecting, I guarantee that they are able to pay both capital and interest to the lender. This guarantee is based on the work efforts of the borrower.
In addition, there are some people who borrow money but themselves have no assets and jobs. The lives of these people are indeed difficult and they often cannot pay off their debts. Although I lent them no more than a dime, I also took something as proof. And these things can stay in my trunk forever, because these people very rarely pay off their debts.
When the lid of the trunk was opened, Mathon carefully picked up the red cloth wrapper, inside which was a beautiful copper-colored scarf. Mathon explains:
– This will be kept forever in my evidence box, because its owner has passed away. He is also my dear friend. For a long time, we did business together and achieved a lot of success, until he married a Western wife. She is very beautiful, but not like our hard-working women. He had to spend a lot of wealth, gold and silver to satisfy his wife’s lavish hobbies.
Until one day, he came to me in despair to tell me that his estate was exhausted. I comforted him a lot, in addition, I promised to create conditions to help him trade again. He promised to be determined to follow my good advice. But this was forever impossible. A few days later, during an argument with his wife, he had a heart attack and never woke up again.
– How about the wife? Rodan asked curiously.
– After his funeral, the wife regretted so much that she threw herself into the Euphrates. So the debt he borrowed from me was never paid back. Through this story, I have learned from an experience that promises made in the midst of human turmoil and emotion are often unbelievable. If you rely on that promise, it is really not safe for the capital spent.
Mathon pointed to a beautifully carved bovine bone ring and continued:
– And here is another story. This ring belongs to a rancher, I often buy rugs woven by his wife. A few years ago, their farm was destroyed by locusts and destroyed their crops. I lent him money to buy new food and seeds. When the next crop came, he immediately paid me all the capital and interest. After a while, the owner of the farm came to me again and told the story of a visitor from afar who said that in his hometown, there were very strange goats. They have very long and soft fur.
He very much wanted such feathers to weave carpets. He expressed his intention to buy the goats, but did not have the money, so he came to ask me for a loan. This project is very good, so I am willing to help him. A year later, I was surprised to see the riches of Babylon spreading beautiful carpets.
It can be said that there has never been such a beautiful carpet in Babylon so far. I later learned that the rugs were woven by the wife of the other farmer. In a few days, he will come to pay me and get this ring back.
“Are there many borrowers who can do that, Mr. Mathon?” Rodan asked again.
– If they borrow for the purpose of working for money, it can still happen and the loan amount guarantees they will pay back. But if they borrow money because of a difficult, miserable situation, I advise you to be very careful. Because in these cases, it is very likely that they do not have the money to repay you.
– Mr. Mathon! Please tell me clearly about this case. ‘ said Rodan, holding up a gold bracelet with beautiful gems inlaid with it.
– The owner of this bracelet used to be a friend of mine. ‘ said Mathon wittily.
“She’s pretty chubby and talkative, which makes me go crazy for her sometimes.”
– Some time ago, she owned quite a lot of property and was a good client of mine. She had a son and always wanted him to become a rich merchant. One day, she came to me and borrowed some gold to give her son a capital to do business with a caravan owner. They often carry goods from one place to another to sell.
However, the owner of this caravan is a guy who specializes in defrauding other people’s money. One day, he secretly took all the money, shared property of the two, and left, leaving the poor young man, who was sleeping, to be alone in a foreign country with an empty bag.
Finally, with the help of a group of kind merchants, he was able to return home. I may have to wait until he has enough money to get the loan. Now I can only keep this jewelry as evidence.
– Did she consult you about the use of that loan?
– Absolutely not, on the contrary
She always bragged to everyone that her son would later become a rich and powerful merchant in Babylon. I used wise words to analyze for her to understand, but was scolded by her once. In fact, I also know that lending money to inexperienced young men is very risky.
But since she brought this for mortgaged, I couldn’t refuse. At the same time, I also want to help these guys, as long as they have the will and determination to work, just like me when I was young, I developed my career by borrowing money like that.
This one belongs to Nebatur, the camel dealer in Babylon. ‘ said Mathon, picking up a knotted piece of rope. – When he wanted to borrow money from me to buy a camel, he brought this knot as evidence. Of course, I am willing to lend him money. Because, Nebatur is a shrewd merchant and I have great confidence in his clever, clever calculation ability.
In addition, I also trust the other merchants in Babylon, because they are very reputable. Their loan proofs come and go regularly, not sitting in this box. Good merchants are the best earners and hoarders of our kingdom. Therefore, I am always willing to help to make their trade and business smooth and bring prosperity to Babylon.
Mathon took out a turquoise bug-shaped object and threw it on the floor with his hand, scornfully saying:
– This is a bug that originated in Egypt. Its owner doesn’t care about paying me back and I probably won’t get it back for the rest of my life. I went to collect the debt many times, but he replied nonchalantly: “I really don’t have a dime left. To repay you, my life is very miserable right now. Meanwhile, if I don’t get the money I owe you, your assets won’t decrease at all.
You still have a lot of gold out there!”.What can I do with him? Even his gentle father destroyed all his inheritance because of him. He mortgaged all his land and livestock to finance his son’s business. In the beginning, he was quite successful. But then, because he wanted to get rich quickly, he did not hesitate to participate in reckless investments, did not research carefully, so he went bankrupt.
We are still very ambitious and often hasty and impatient in realizing his promising visions. They do not think that their talent and strength are still limited, and do not even pay attention to the correct advice of their predecessors. Only when the job is broken, they bitterly realize the valuable lessons for themselves.
It is worth mentioning here that each time they fail, they take on an additional debt. And instead of trying to change their lives for the better, they fall into poverty, deadlock, even losing all their self-esteem, confidence and will to strive. You see, this bug is probably right forever in my chest.
“You have told me many interesting stories, Mr. Mathon!” – Rodan said. – Now, do you think I should lend my brother-in-law fifty gold coins? You also know, this amount is very large for my monthly income.
– Your old sister is a brave, skillful woman that I respect a lot. So if her husband asked for a loan, I would ask him how he would use the money?
If your old sister husband replied that he wanted to become a successful businessman, so that his family, wife and children could live happily and richly, I would continue to ask: “Do you know how to do business? Do you know where to buy at the lowest price and sell at the highest price?”. So in your opinion, can he answer “yes” to these questions?
– No! He can’t do those things. – Rodan admits that Araman can only help me with the work in the spearsmithing shop.
–Then you can say that, even though his aim is very noble, with such ability he cannot become a merchant yet. Before becoming a merchant, Araman needed to learn and master the trade. And in the process of learning and experimenting, he should not risk that large amount of money. Araman’s wish, though much appreciated, could not be loaned to him.
But if Brother Araman replied, “Yes! I worked a lot with merchants. I already know how to go to Smyrna to buy rugs at very low prices, woven by housewives. Then I sold them to the rich in Babylon at a higher price to make a profit.” Then I would say: “Your ambition makes me very proud, and with that wisdom I believe you will succeed.
Therefore, I will kindly lend you fifty gold coins if you assure me that you will be able to repay me as soon as possible.” But if he says, “I have nothing to guarantee, other than that I am a decent person and promise to repay you in full as soon as possible.” Then I will reply: “I appreciate every penny and my gold. So if, while you were going to Smyrna, the robbers took your gold, or when you returned, they took it all away, what would you do to repay me? If you don’t have the money to repay, have I lost it completely?”
You see, Rodan! Gold is the commodity of moneylenders. It is very easy to lend, but if it is not wise to lend, it is very difficult to get it back. For experienced lenders, they never take risks in their work, but on the contrary they always find some way to force borrowers to repay on time.
– Yes! Mathon continued. – Helping people who are in difficulty, in need or are starting a career is essential. But you must know how to help them wisely. Otherwise, you will be like the donkey in the story I just told, only having to bear the burdens of others.
Rodan, take my advice: “Keep those fifty gold coins. Since it is a legitimate reward for his hard work, no one has the right to force him to share it with others, unless it is his will. If you want to lend that money to earn more gold, then do it very carefully and spread it out. I do not want to leave gold lying in my pocket, even though I am also very afraid of encountering risks and uncertainties.
Rodan thought silently about what Mathon had just said, when suddenly Mathon asked:
-How many years have you been doing spearsmithing?
– It’s been three years. Rodan replied.
– In those three years, how much did you save aside from the king’s bounty?
– Three gold coins.
– You work so hard every year that you only get one gold coin?
– That’s right.
– So, if you save fifty gold coins, it takes you fifty years of hard work?
– A whole life of work!
“Do you allow your old sister husband to risk money you might have saved up during fifty years of hard work by the copper furnace, just to give her husband the experience of being a businessman?”
– That can’t be! Rodan exclaimed.
– Then, you should go to your sister and say: “In three years, I worked hard, so I have three gold coins left over. You are my only relative and I also hope that your husband has the opportunity to become rich.
If Araman can show me and my close friend Mathon that his business plan is working, I’d be happy to lend my brother in law all of my savings for three years. By doing so, I mean that if Mr. Araman is indeed capable of doing business, he still has some capital to execute. And if Mr. Araman fails, the amount he owes will not exceed his ability to pay.
I am the owner of a lot of gold. And I use that gold to help other people do business. This not only allows them to become rich, but also through which I can earn more gold for myself.
But I don’t want to take the risk in this job. I had to work hard, calculate carefully and accumulate for a long time to get that gold. Therefore, I will not lend money to anyone if I do not trust that person’s ability to repay. In addition, I also do not want to lend, if the amount of interest is not paid quickly when due.
Through the stories I have just told, you can understand that many people often want to borrow money but few are able to repay. Some people think that they will have a successful business if they have gold in hand, but in fact they fail. That’s because they didn’t appreciate their abilities properly.
Mr. Rodan! Now, he was lucky enough to own fifty gold coins. To maintain his wealth, he should find a way to make that gold profitable. The best way is to become a gold lender, like me. And if you know how to keep your possessions safe and secure, then I can guarantee that your life from here on out will always be full and prosperous.
If you plan to do a certain job, you should boldly cooperate with people who have a lot of experience, wisdom and reputation in the field in which you intend to enter. Thanks to them, on the one hand, he can learn and gain a lot of experience, on the other hand, his assets are not only safe but also profitable.
The king’s gift will probably bring him many good opportunities. However, if he wanted to keep those fifty gold coins, he had to be discreet and careful. Because, in my experience, many people will come to you with bad intentions. He had to make sure that when he took a gold coin out of his pocket, it would definitely return to his pocket on time.
If you need more advice, come back here. I would be happy to help you in all your work. “It is better to have a small precaution than to suffer a great regret later on.” You should remember this saying by heart.
Please! Because, it is also my secret to success.
Rodan thanked Mathon for his thoughtful advice and left. Unlike when he came here, now not only his mind but also his whole life seems to have turned to a new, much brighter page.