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Once upon a time, in a small village, there lived a father of ten children. He was poor but honest. In order to feed his family, he rushed out every morning, even while the sky was still dark and went to the village green where there was a cafe, looking for a job. 

Everyone in the village knew him as the man who was constantly running back and forth looking for people who needed help with any work. The villagers always saw the man running, whether it was a nice and sunny day or pouring rain. The village was small but many of its inhabitants were rich. The poor man couldn't find any steady job, but never gave up hope to find a job one day. 

Somehow he managed to survive with his family. He didn't stop running back and forth between the tables which covered the entire plaza in front of the cafe with the hope to find someone who needed his help.

He could see poor and rich villagers sitting around the tables and enjoying their morning coffee, some were chatting and others were playing cards.

When he passed by the rich villagers they laughed but they gave him some chores to do. He never refused any task, whether it was washing the carriage, cleaning the side walk, cleaning the stable or feeding the horses. 

One day the richest man of the village was sitting alone at his table as usual, trying to impress his fellow villagers by calling the man and opening his purse, so everyone could see how rich he was. Suddenly a nice and well dressed man appeared and asked the rich man if he could join him. With a welcoming gesture the rich man generously offered the empty chair to the new man he had never seen before, by saying:
- "Please have a seat" Then he introduced himself to the guest. The latter introduced himself with these words:
- "My name is Blessing" The rich man didn't pay attention to the name, as he was very impressed by the elegant and cultivated look of the man. Meanwhile the poor man was standing by, waiting for the rich man to address him with something. The rich man haughtily pulled a golden coin out of his purse and handed it to the poor man. The latter took the coin and ran home. The rich man was happy to have a companion with whom he could share the thrill of a good laugh at the expense of the poor man. Then he said to the guest:
-"You see, this poor man is always looking for a job, but rich as I am, it amuses me to give him a coin every day. If you are here tomorrow you will see him at the same hour again. This table is always mine, no one dares take it from me. You will find me here" The guest replied:
-"For how long has this been going on, that you are giving this man a coin." The rich man arrogantly replied:
-"I am very rich and I have been giving him a coin for the last three months." The next day at the same hour both the rich man and the guest were sitting at the same place, when the poor man appeared, saying:
- "Who needs my help, I need a job." The rich man stood up as he wanted to show his generosity again when the guest gently interrupted him and said:
-"You said that you have been helping him almost every day for the last three months. How long should the poor man have to depend on your kindness to survive? His face doesn't show any happiness, he seems rather sad." Thinking that the guest also wanted to show his generosity, the rich man told him:
-"All right, go ahead if you want to give him something." The guest took a piece of paper, wrote something on the paper and told the poor man:
-"Here is the address of a gentleman who is looking for someone who can paint his house." Then he added: "If you can do a good job he will help you find other jobs." The poor man grabbed the piece of paper from the hand of Mr Blessing and ran to look for the job.

To make the story short, he found the house at the address that was written on the piece of paper and he knocked at the door. A few minutes later the door was opened and an old man appeared. With a kind voice he asked the poor man about the purpose of his visit. The poor man gratefully answered:
-"I was sent here to paint the house, is this the right place?" With a smile on his face the old owner of the house greeted him with warmth, asked him to enter, and told him:
-"I am so happy that I finally found someone to paint my house." Then the owner showed him the house and all the rooms that had to be painted. The house was very spacious, it seemed quite enormous, and needed a lot of work. The old man didn't want to discourage the poor guy and asked him:
-"I hope that the job is not too big for you. The last time I had this house painted was fifteen years ago. There were ten men and they finished the job after two months." The poor man who didn't want to show his happiness, said to the owner:
-"Don't worry, if necessary I can bring as many men as needed, but the job will be finished on time."
The old man was happy to hear that the poor man would finish the job on time, in two months, that was. In fact he had not revealed to the poor man that previously the job was finished in three months, for fear of discouraging the new painter.

The next day Mr Blessing and the rich man were at the same time in the cafe on the village plaza and they saw the poor man running to get to his new job. The rich man, as usual, stood up as to call the poor man but the latter didn't react to the rich man's call. Mr Blessing smiled without saying a word. The rich man didn't understand the hint. 

As the year passed and the rich man was sitting as usual at the same place, Mr Blessing appeared anew. He inquired about his well being and about what had become of the poor man. The rich man did not respond, but invited him to join him. Both men were enjoying their cup of coffee without saying a word. Shortly thereafter they saw the poor man well dressed, sitting at another table, waiting to see if anyone was looking for work.

What had happened? At the time when he finished the first job he started working in other houses thanks to the old owner's help who recommended him to many of his friends. The poor man became a good entrepreneur and had many jobs waiting for him. He employed a lot of people from his and other villages. He earned his livelihood with dignity and didn't need the help of the rich man any more.

When Mr Blessing saw him, he called him and asked him how he was doing. The former poor man said:
-"Thank God, I feel very good" Then he took his leave. 
-"Much luck to you. You don't need any other help now, as you have the ‘Blessing' with you".

After the man left, the rich man asked Mr Blessing:
-"What happened to him?"
-"He became an entrepreneur and is now on his own"
-"You certainly gave him the capital to start with!" Mr Blessing responded:
-"No, I gave him much more than that!" The rich man exclaimed:
-"Aha, I knew you must have given him something to start with!" Mr Blessing responded:
-"Yes, I gave him two things: I gave him the piece of paper with the directions to the job, and I gave him my Blessing"
-"That's it?" asked the rich man. "I gave him a coin every day for three months!" Mr Blessing answered:
-"But your coin didn't make him a happy man, you just kept him alive in his misery".

Emile Tubiana, November 17, 2002

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