A man named David, thirty, had to make a difficult choice in a tiny village. Given how difficult it had gotten to care for his ageing father in their already hectic lives, his wife had been pressuring him to check his father into an assisted living facility. He gave his wife’s request a great deal of thought and ultimately chose to comply, even though it hurt a lot.

David bundled his father into the car one bright morning and headed to an elderly care facility headed by a Catholic priest, renowned for its kind treatment. A friendly and inviting old priest came out to meet them when they arrived. David was surprised to find that the priest and his father were having a long talk like old friends.

David’s curiosity overcame him, and he asked, “Father, do you know my father from before? Speaking together, it sounds like you two have been friends for a long time.”

“Yes, my son, I do know your father,” the priest said with a sympathetic grin. About thirty years ago, he came to this exact location and accomplished something amazing. No one else wanted to adopt the severely ill orphan boy that he brought in. This man, your father, saved that boy’s life by providing him with a caring home. He said to us that this small child deserved more and promised to live his entire life to make him the richest young man by the time he turned 25.”

The priest’s revelation surprised David. This important period in his father’s life was unknown to him. The priest went on, “I’m not sure how long you’ve known your father, but I can assure you that he is a decent man. I’m happy to let you know that you were the sick orphan boy.”

David fell on his knees in front of his father, sobbing, pleading for forgiveness. His father reached out and said, “Son, I have already forgiven you,” his face wearing a soft grin. I comprehend the situations that resulted in this choice. You are not in need of my pardon.”

David was overcome with a profound sense of appreciation and thankfulness for his father’s generosity and kindness. He came to appreciate his father’s genuine nature and the depth of his compassion for the underprivileged.

“Dad, I am humbled by your love and the sacrifices you made for me,” David replied, his eyes genuine. If only I could be half the man you are.”

Graciously, the old man answered, “Remember, son, that success should never cause us to forget where we come from.” We run the risk of losing our bearings and our actual goal if we do. It is important that we never forget the people who enabled us to achieve our current success.”

The old guy then decided something that surprised David. “You can keep the family home, but know that you are no longer included in my will as the only heir to my empire,” he turned to face his son. All of my belongings have been bequeathed to this orphanage, where I currently reside.

David came to the realisation that the most essential things his father had taught him were kindness, humility, and thankfulness, rather than material belongings, as he observed his father settling into his new house. By helping the orphanage and making sure that children in need would receive the same love and care that he had previously received, David vowed to continue his father’s legacy.