The parable of N53million, $59,000 and Unknown Quantities

Once upon a time, a wealthy merchant called her children and gave them various sums of money. Her expectation was that the children would trade with their share, make profit from their trade and improve the wellbeing of the collective. The wellbeing of the family. No one knew what formula she adopted in giving what to whom.

To the first, she gave $59,000 (Fifty-nine thousand dollars), to the second she gave N53,000,000 (Fifty-three million naira) while to the third she gave unknown quantities in cash.

Buoyed by the excitement created by the feeling of financial empowerment, the first son began trading, consuming the profits, and spending even the seed money on everything that caught his fancy. He saved nothing. The second son, on the other hand, was frozen by fear, upon seeing the quantum of money credited to his account as his own allocation. Arrested by fear, he hastily declined the offer and returned the money to his mother’s treasury.

The third son who received unknown quantities in cash, conflicted by the example of his older brothers, did not do much either. Sometimes he wanted to be thrifty but enamoured by the example modelled by his oldest brother, he hesitated. And when he felt like biting the bullet and daring market forces, he was stopped by the example of his immediate elder brother who had since been trapped by fear.

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