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Two castle Builders

Hot sun. Salty air. Rhythmic waves.

A little boy is on his knees scooping and packing the sand with plastic shovels into a bright blue bucket. Then he upends the bucket on the surface and lifts it. And, to the delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created.

All afternoon he will work. Spooning out the moat. Packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries. Popsicle sticks will be bridges. A sandcastle will be built.

Big city. Busy streets. Rumbling traffic.

A man is in his office. At his desk he shuffles papers into stacks and delegates assignments. He cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. Numbers are juggled and contracts are signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made.

All his life he will work. Formulating the plans. Forecasting the future. Annuities will be sentries. Capital gains will be bridges. An empire will be built.

Two builders of two castles. They have much in common. They shape granules into grandeurs. They see nothing and make something. They are diligent and determined. And for both the tide will rise and the end will come.

Yet that is where the similarities cease. For the boy sees the end while the man ignores it. Watch the boy as the dusk approaches.

As the waves near, the wise child jumps to his feet and begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised. And when the great breaker crashes into his castle and his masterpiece is sucked into the sea, he smiles. He smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father’s hand, and goes home.

The grownup, however, is not so wise. As the wave of years collapses on his castle he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He blocks the waves from the walls he has made. Salt-water soaked and shivering he snarls at the incoming tide.

“It’s my castle,” he defies.

The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs…

I don’t know much about sandcastles. But children do. Watch them and learn. Go ahead and build, but build with a child’s heart. When the sun sets and the tides take – applaud. Salute the process of life and go home.

Author Unknown

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Agyemang September 5, 2014, 5:47 am

    I Love this story, in other words worrying and having sleepless nights over a problem wont get us anywhere . Rather we should keep things in the perspective and pick up from the ashes.

  • Tsquare June 10, 2013, 12:37 pm

    It’s truly inspiring.

  • Samradnyee June 10, 2013, 10:09 am

    Yeah!!!!!! Teaches excellent lesson.

  • N S May 21, 2013, 12:39 am

    It is really an awakening story for me.
    I lost all my business and assets in the last couple of years. Now almost on the streets with a wife and two kids and a long trusted maid and one of my assistant who has been with me for a long time. All the others left me without a trace. Now I am planning to build my new castle again starting from the beginning. I was never sad or felt like I lost it all. I am eager to see whether I can rebuild the castle again.

  • Alex March 29, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Very inspiring n deep…. Thanks.

  • Gaurav March 28, 2013, 12:57 am

    A nice text. Very informative! Keep up the good work.

  • Jo March 14, 2013, 9:02 am

    So this is what having a Child’s heart means!! Woh. Splendid. Wonderful eyeopener.

  • Mansoor Siddiqui March 13, 2013, 10:09 am

    Story of life, very well narrated by the author. Contents clearly indicates that we (the human beings) should spend our time in this world like a guest not the host.

  • Rita Borg March 13, 2013, 8:04 am

    What a lesson we should all learn from.

  • Mahendra Prasad March 12, 2013, 10:07 pm


  • Pig March 12, 2013, 9:55 pm

    Right. Nothing lasts forever.

  • Stephen March 12, 2013, 9:28 pm

    I have a friend who went through the same experience as the grownup man in the story.

    He operated a very successful business for many years then due to the economy, the business kept going down for the past few years. Debts kept pilling up. He was so stressed out, developed stroke and passed away leaving his wife and kids.

    Let us be like the little boy, build up our empire with our heart then take things easy if things go wrong.

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