Our foundress once told a merchant “A businessman must buy dearly and sell cheaply.” The merchant wondered if I buy from someone at a high price, and sell my goods cheaply, I will certainly run myself out of business. But it is said that the merchant followed Oyasama’s advise, and lived a prosperous and happy life.
From an economical point, one would be buying the best materials to build the product, and one will have to create a large customer base to make up for the small profit on each sale. Everyone hopefully gains from this system.
From a religious view, the merchant will be bringing joy to both the distributors and buyers by saving both of them money. This I believe will please God, and bring joy to everyone involved.
But is this the way that most people run their business these days? Today we attempt to get the most money out of our efforts. We try to cut corners by using the cheapest materials to save money; and try to increase prices to get the most money from our consumer. Is there a bit of greed involved? Absolutely! Sound a little like that the Christmas story of the Scrooge. The accumulation of money through greed resulting in wealth, but unhappiness.
What is the moral of the story I am trying to get to? Money gained through greed will not result in happiness, but suffering. Look at the lives of the lottery winners. Many would say that they wish they would have never won the lottery. Money gained for the purpose of gaining wealth may not bring happiness.
One experience that we all can relate to is the buying of an automobile. In the past this has been a very stressful experience, a situation screaming of Greed. Each individual trying to get the best out of the other, negotiating the price of the auto. I remember that last time, I went to an auto dealer negotiating with a young inexperienced sales person. He had actually obtained a car that I wanted from another city that was 200 miles away. I had thought that it was carried on a truck, but he had actually with his girl friend picked up the car, and drove back the new car to the lot. Initially I was hesitant to buy the car with the additional 200 miles on the speedometer, but I also wanted to help this young salesman. So I ended buying the car. I am not sure how much profit the young man received from the transaction, but he was a happy man. For me, the car has been a blessing. I have driven over 130,000 miles now with out any major bills, unlike some of the other cars I have bought in the past. Some would say that I have been lucky that I have not had any major repair, but maybe God has rewarded me for my good deed?
In summary, share your blessing with others, and blessings will be given back to you. Ask God to sweep away the greed in your mind, so that charity can flow from your heart. When this happens, joy will spread to others, but also come back to you ten fold.