A Story about value

A professor at the university wrote a big “1” on the blackboard. Then he turned to his students and said, “Look, this means ‘personality’, a ‘character’. It is the most valuable thing you have in life.” Then he put a “0” on the right of the “1”. “This means ‘success’. What makes ‘1’ a ‘10’ is by having ‘success’ by its side.” He added another “0” to the right of the “10” and showed the students the number “100” and said, “This means ‘experience’.” Another “0” was added next to the number “100” making the number “1000” and he told the students it meant “talent”. Then the professor spoke of discipline, conscience, and tolerance as he added more zeros to the right of the numbers on the blackboard. “An infinite amount of zeros can be added.” he said. “It is your choice.”

He emphasized how the zeros enriched the “character”. Then he did something unexpected. Going back to the starting point, he erased the first number of “1” and said to his students, “If you don’t have a character, all you would get is zeros. And no matter how many zeros you get, without a number in front of them, they would never be a number bigger than zero. Those who do not have a personality or a character, no matter how talented and knowledgeable they are, all they will have is a huge pile of zeroes.

This philosophy played a huge role in my life. I have seen knowledgeable, talented, and successful people that have no personality. The people who have a unique personality really add value to themselves. Even if they are not as successful as others, their great personality is their strongest advantage.

(from Hakan Mengüç // No Encounter is By Chance)