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Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • Vohsgeh seerd yehv kahreh seerd

    Once there was a poor village farmer named Garabed. He was a humble man who worked his fields with oxen and always prayed to God for His infinite mercy. Somehow, he and his wife, Lucine, were able to barely make ends meet. They had one son named Gaitzag who was just a toddler of 4 years old. Garabed was a man who had a heart of love. He was kind, gentle and always respectful. Because of his noble qualities, he was loved in turn by his wife and relatives and friends.

    Garabed had an intoxicating smile. He was always helpful to others and never expected anything in return. Lucine would sometimes mention to Garabed that she wished they would become more prosperous so that her life would be easier and little Gaitzag might have a better future than working the fields. Garabed took heed of his wife’s longing and began to wish he were rich.

    One day, while fetching fire wood from the deep forest, he met a wizened old man who began to address him. “Young man, you deserve to be wealthy since you have many years of life to live and enjoy. What good are riches for an old man like me who can meet his death at any moment. If you want, I can make you a rich man overnight. But there is only one condition.

    “I want to be rich so that my wife and child will not suffer the inconvenience of poverty. What is the condition old man?” asked Garabed.

    “Give me your heart of love!” said the old man.

    Garabed was shocked. “How shall I live if I give you my heart?” asked Garabed.

    “No worry, my son. I have a heart of stone that functions miraculously. It functions as good as your heart. But, it has the added advantage that it will confer on you vast riches for the rest of your life.” replied the old man.

    “I don’t understand,” said Garabed. “How can you give me your heart and take mine.

    “I know many secrets of life and death. I can replace your heart with mine while you sleep and you won’t feel anything.” said the old man.

    In his innocence, Garabed agreed. The next morning, Garabed had the heart of stone that replaced his heart of love. After returning home, Garabed began to gain wealth by different business ventures. His mind saw many opportunities that he had never noticed before. Lucine was amazed by the quick change of fortune. They had all the money they needed for a comfortable life.

    Garabed noticed that he no longer felt love for God or anyone else. He became angry quickly and often used harsh words to rebuke anyone who did not satisfy his demands. Lucine and Gaitzag began to suffer from Garabed’s abusive attitude.

    Soon Garabed realized that without a heart of love for God, life was not the same. It became a burden for Garabed to be always thinking of money. His heart of stone would not let him be the kind and gentle person he was before.

    But, as he became proud of his wealth, he forgot about God and the humble life of faith and honest work. He depended on his own powers for success and did not regret taking advantage of others. His only concern was accumulating wealth and power. He began to see the world as a hostile field of competition in which he had a few friends and many enemies. He was plagued by anxieties for gaining wealth and keeping it secure. Gradually, he developed distrust of everyone including his family.

    Garabed became reclusive. His attachment to money and power was overpowering to the point that he no longer regretted his loss of respectability and love. The lust for money was more important than love for others. His heart of stone would not let him love God, family or anyone.

    The once gentle Garabed was obsessed by the insatiable lust for wealth. It is said that the lust for money is the root of all evil. Like Garabed, some people hanker so much after money that they are led astray from faith in God and are pierced continually with many sorrows.

    The heart of love is the wealth of life. The heart of stone will result in the poverty of love.

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  • dahree-eh muh hahrssdahnahl pohrtzoghuh, vetch ahmeesehn khehntahnotz gehrtah

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  • Aloureen juhvaluh kani kani topvesneh tozuh gehlah

    This saying is used to describe very rich people who, even in troubled times, seem to have plenty of money.

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