The American Buffet

There once was an old man from the East who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After receiving his diagnosis, the man sought out to visit America. He always dreamed of visiting the country that so many of his friends and relatives had traveled to. He decided that he would visit every major city and all the favorite tourist locations. The old man hired a guide that would accompany him on this trip and a few weeks later his landed in the United States of America. The old man did as he planned and visited the major cities and took pictures of the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty and Chicago’s famous Bean. After some time, the old man’s guide asked him if there was anything else he would like see before they traveled home. The old man replied, “You know I’ve yet to see an American University; I would like to visit one before we leave.”

His guide did as the old man pleased and arranged a tour of the nearest university. There they sat through an entire history lecture, roamed the halls and visited the football stadium. After a while, the old man became hungry and requested that they stop by the cafeteria for lunch. While they were eating the old man’s guide decided to ask the old man a question he had hoped to save for the flight home, “After seeing all that there is to see here, what do you think of America?”

The old man sat silently for a minute, scanned the cafeteria, then replied, “America is like the buffet line over there… You can get whatever you would like from that line. You can take the smallest item or you can take the biggest item. You can have as much or as little as you want. There is just two things though:

  1. You have to get up and go get what you want.
  2. You have to be willing to pay the price for what you get.”



And as always, thank you for reading.

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