The Father and Son

This story is one we all may want to consider in regard to what is truly important in life.  You can never put a price on love, yet many people value possessions over people.
The Son
By: Author Unknown

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of
art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso
to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the
great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the
son went to war.

He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing
another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply
for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a
knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a
large package in his hands. He said, “Sir, you don’t know
me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He
saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety
when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.
He often talked about you, and your love for art.” The young
man held out this package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not
really a great artist, but I think your son would have
wanted you to have this.”

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son,
painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the
soldier had captured the personality of his son in the
painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own
eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and
offered to pay him for the picture. “Oh, no sir, I could
never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift”.

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time
visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait
of his son before he showed them any of the other great
works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great
auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered,
excited over seeing the great paintings and having an
opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer
pounded his gavel. We will start the bidding with this
picture of the son.

Who will bid for this picture?” There was silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to
see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”

But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this
painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?” Another
voice shouted angrily. We didn’t come to see this painting.
We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with
the real bids!”

But still the auctioneer continued. “The son! The son!
Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was
the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10
for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could

“We have $10, who will bid $20?”

“Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters” someone

“$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?”

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture
of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for
their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD
for $10!”

A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on
with the collection!”

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction

“What about the paintings?”

“I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I
was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not
allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the
painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that
painting would inherit the entire estate, including the
paintings. The man who took the son gets every thing!”