Once upon a time there were two friends, boys, who went to school together, had some good times, lived in a two family house together with their wives, each had a son and a daughter and the two boys seemed like family.
One boy went to school for along time and became a teacher and administrator. The other boy learned his craft on the job and became a successful executive. One boy didn't care about money and wanted to make a difference in kid's lives. The other boy wanted to make alot of money.
Some people didn't like the one boy because he always had to out do others - he thought material things were very important. He always, even as an adult, thought his collection of things was important. The boy wanted the biggest house, nicest lawn, fanciest car and worse he bragged and became arrogant. He's alienated friends and family - given them up for things.
But the other boy overlooked this and remained friends with the other boy for over 40 years justifying the other's behavior by saying,"that's just the way he is.". He hung with him through two divorces, three wives, seven houses and too many "best cars in the world" to mention.
They continued to have fun over the years, had holidays together, barbecues and moved through life.
Then one day the self centered boy said something to make the other boy realize that he meant less than the things and he stopped seeing him. Even today, seven years later, the egotistical boy doesn't realize what he did. Nor has he asked. He spends his days with his wife, her family and his things.
The boy who didn't care about money and material things got really sick. The other boy came right away but talked mostly about his ailments and his things. So the sick boy finally accepted that the self centered, egotistical boy would never change.
His friend reminded him of a fable he was told as a child:
Two Travelers and a Bear
One day two travelers were walking through he woods and a growling bear came after them. The first traveler ran and climbed a tree and hid in the branches. The other fell to the ground and played dead. The bear poked him a couple of times, sniffed his head and then moved on.
The traveller climbed out of the tree and embarrassed he laughingly asked what the bear had whispered in the other traveller's ear?
He told me not to travel with friends who would run away in time of need.