One night two jewel merchants arrived at a resting place in the desert. While unloading their camels, each of them tried to impress the other. One merchant deliberately dropped a large pearl from his bag. The other picked it up and said, “This is a fine pearl you have, as large and lustrous as the come.” With feigned modesty the first merchant replied, "How gracious of you to say so. As a matter of fact, that is one of the smaller gems in my collection."
Another traveler, who was sitting by the fire and had observed this drama, rose and invited the two of them to eat with him. When they began their meal, this is the story he told them:
"I, too, my friends, was once upon a time, a jeweler like you. One day I was overtaken by a great storm in the desert. It buffeted my caravan and me this way and that till I was separated from my entourage and lost my way completely.
Days passed and I was panic-stricken to realize that I was really wandering in circles with no sense of where I was or which direction to walk in. Then, almost dead with starvation, I unloaded every bag on my camel's back, anxiously searching through them for the hundredth time.
Imagine my excitement when I came upon a pouch that had escaped my notice before. With trembling fingers I ripped it open hoping to find something to eat. Imagine my disillusionment when I found that all it contained was pearls!"
Discuss: What do you treasure? Why do you treasure it?