Increase thy ability to earn
“This day do I speak to thee, my students, of one of the most vital remedies for a lean purse. Yet, I will talk not of gold but of yourselves, of the men beneath the robes of many colors who do sit before me. I will talk to you of those things within the minds and lives of men which do work for or against their success.” So did Arkad address his class upon the seventh day.
“Not long ago came to me a young man seeking to borrow. When I questioned him the cause of his necessity, he complained that his earnings were insufficient to pay his expenses. Thereupon I explained to him, this being the case, he was a poor customer for the money lender, as he possessed no surplus earning capacity to repay the loan.
” ‘What you need, young man,’ I told him, ‘is to earn more coins. What dost thou to increase thy capacity to earn?’
” ‘All that I can do’ he replied. ‘Six times within two moons have I approached my master to request my pay be increased, but without success. No man can go oftener than that.’
“We may smile at his simplicity, yet he did possess one of the vital requirements to increase his earnings. Within him was a strong desire to earn more, a proper and commendable desire.
“Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Thy desires must be strong and definite. General desires are but weak longings. For a man to wish to be rich is of little purpose. For a man to desire five pieces of gold is a tangible desire which he can press to fulfillment. After he has backed his desire for five pieces of gold with strength of purpose to secure it, next he can find similar ways to obtain ten pieces and then twenty pieces and later a thousand pieces and, behold, he has become wealthy. In learning to secure his one definite small desire, he hath trained himself to secure a larger one. This is the process by which wealth is accumulated: first in small sums, then in larger ones as a man learns and becomes more capable.
“Desires must be simple and definite. They defeat their own purpose should they be too many, too confusing, or beyond a man’s training to accomplish.
“As a man perfecteth himself in his calling even so doth his ability to earn increase. In those days when I was a humble scribe carving upon the clay for a few coppers each day, I observed that other workers did more than I and were paid more. Therefore, did I determine that I would be exceeded by none. Nor did it take long for me to discover the reason for their greater success. More interest in my work, more concentration upon my task, more persistence in my effort, and, behold, few men could carve more tablets in a day than I. With reasonable promptness my increased skill was rewarded, nor was it necessary for me to go six times to my master to request recognition.
“The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. If he is an artisan, he may seek to learn the methods and the tools of those most skillful in the same line. If he laboreth at the law or at healing, he may consult and exchange knowledge with others of his calling. If he be a merchant, he may continually seek better goods that can be purchased at lower prices.
“Always do the affairs of man change and improve because keen-minded men seek greater skill that they may better serve those upon whose patronage they depend. Therefore, I urge all men to be in the front rank of progress and not to stand still, lest they be left behind. “Many things come to make a man’s life rich with gainful experiences. Such things as the following, a man must do if he respect himself:
“He must pay his debts with all the promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay.
“He must take care of his family that they may think and speak well of him.
“He must make a will of record that, in case the Gods call him, proper and honorable division of his property be accomplished.
“He must have compassion upon those who are injured and smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him.
“Thus the seventh and last remedy for a lean purse is to cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself. Thereby shalt thou acquire confidence in thy self to achieve thy carefully considered desires.
“These then are the seven cures for a lean purse, which, out of the experience of a long and successful life, I do urge for all men who desire wealth. “There is more gold in Babylon, my students, than thou dreamest of. There is abundance for all.
“Go thou forth and practice these truths that thou mayest prosper and grow wealthy, as is thy right.
“Go thou forth and teach these truths that every honorable subject of his majesty may also share liberally in the ample wealth of our beloved city.”