DISTRIBUTION EQUAL VS EQUAL DISTRIBUTION
To his two sons, Dhirubhai Ambani bequeathed just his wealth and not happiness. My own conclusion is that to live in contentment is not human nature. One is a very wealthy Ambani, the other, a very healthy Ambani. But, like most humans, they are unhappy with what they have inherited and grudgingly hold their father responsible for he failed to ensure “equal distribution” of his amassed wealth, between the two of them . Unlike their father, my father was not wealthy but he was wise. He had adopted a unique way of distributing whatever little he had acquired or inherited. It was in 1987, I had just returned home with my first pay, when he called me and my two brothers to divide the ancestral property between the three of us. He didn’t divide, he handed over that honour to me and asked me to divide his property into three parts, for we three brothers. He did not say “three equal parts”, but he kept one condition that after dividing the property I should be the last one to choose the part after my two brothers had picked one each. With this, not only that he ensured that I make three equal parts but importantly, that I don’t blame him later for any unequal distribution! Although I can’t blame him now for what I got but I do blame him for what little he has left! But, the two things that I have inherited from him are “boldness” and “baldness”. While the first one arrived with my birth, the second one is on its way!!
Well, humor apart, how should the parents leave their property to their children is a question that most parents face and also fail. Instead of making “ equal distribution”, can they, hailed as gifts of God, make “distribution equal”. Meaning, giving more to a child who is less fortunate or less capable. This will ensure that there is little disparity and difference between the children. While so ensuring, also think of leaving part of their worldly belongings to the unfortunate ones in the society. Although Islam has always been in the news for wrong reasons, it mandates that its followers donate 2.5 % of their earnings in charity. There is a need for “ Individual Social Responsibility” something like “ Corporate Social Responsibility”. This will foster and promote a sense of sharing and brotherhood.
Let me narrate an interesting story. There was a man and he had two daughters. One was married to a potter and the other to a farmer. The families were chugging along and were coping with the trials and tribulations of life. After a long spell of draught, the sky looked overcast and indications of adequate rains were evident. While the potter’s wife prayed that it shouldn’t rain, the farmer’s wife desperately prayed for rains. Both of them were tense and had conflicting demands to the divine. Since they couldn’t settle the issue, amicably, between themselves, they decided to approach their father for a solution. The father was also perplexed; there was no quick-fix solution to this. If it did not rain, one daughter lost all her wealth and if it rained, the other daughter lost all her wealth. The father went into a deep thought for a while and came out with a solution, finally. He called both his distraught daughters and explained his solution. He said to them, “If it rained, since the farmer is going to gain, the farmer’s wife will share 50% of their profit with the potter and if it didn’t rain, the potter’s wife will share 50% of their profit with the farmer”. Suddenly, the mood of the daughters changed, it was a win-win situation to both of them. They now knew, rain or no rain, they will stand to gain!
This philosophy is known as “distribution of happiness” and is at tangent to the other one, “distribution of wealth”.
Wish, bade-bhai knew this!!