An old philanthropist decides to test his grandchildren to decide who will inherit his money by pretending to be blind.
Franklin Garson started out as a small-time salesman back in the 50s, selling parts to oil drillers, but he ended up as one of the richest men in America, building oil rigs and pipelines.
After a while, making money lost its charm for Franklin Garson. He had everything he’d ever wanted and more money than he could spend in three lifetimes. And that was when discovered a new mission in life and a new passion: giving those billions away.
Franklin Garson decided that to get his grandchildren to reveal their true character he had to trick them | Source: Shutterstock.com
Franklin became one of the world’s most generous philanthropists, especially towards the homeless. His grandfather told him stories about being homeless during the Great Depression and he knew how vulnerable the dispossessed are.
Franklin turned 85 and he decided it was time to pass on the torch. Neither of his two sons had ever been interested either in the business or in his foundations, so he decided he’d choose one of his grandchildren to run the foundation.
He had two grandchildren — cousins, not siblings — Wesley, 23, and Gina, 24. Franklin loved and indulged his grandchildren but he was determined that they should make their own way in the world.
So even though Gina and Wesley were heirs to a billionaire, they didn’t have lots of money to splurge on status symbols or luxury cars. Franklin paid for their education, but he wanted them to know what it cost to earn a living.
Franklin Garson wanted to retire and leave his foundation in good hands | Source: Unsplash
Now Franklin had to choose which of the two would take over the foundation. Both were intelligent, and apparently kind and charming — but were they really? He had spent decades negotiating with wheeler-dealers and he knew people could be deceitful.
Was one of his grandchildren less than honest? There was no way either of them would drop the mask in front of him or was there? Franklin had an idea that turned into a cunning plan.
He phoned his grandson first. “Wesley my boy!” he said, “I need to see you. You know I’ve been thinking of retiring from the foundation, especially now, after this operation…”
“Operation?” asked Wesley. “You had an operation, grandpa? Are you alright?”
Franklin told his grandchildren he’d had an eye operation | Source: Pixabay
“Oh yes,” Franklin said. “I had surgery on my eyes. I won’t be seeing much for the next two weeks, but my health is as good as can be expected. So how about we have lunch tomorrow?”
Wesley agreed, and the next day Franklin’s driver picked him up in the limousine and took him to the restaurant. Wesley hugged his grandfather, who was wearing dead-black wrap-around sunglasses, and expressed his concern.
People will reveal themselves when they think no one can see them.
Franklin waved the worries away and said, “Don’t worry my boy, a few days and I’ll be fine, but how about you read me the menu?”
So Wesley did and was very attentive to his grandfather, cutting his meat and making sure he knew where his wineglass was.
At the end of the meal, Franklin pulled out his wallet, fumbled for a credit card, and paid for the meal. He got up and Wesley immediately offered him his arm and helped him through the labyrinth of tables.
He invited Wesley to lunch to test him | Source: Unsplash
They walked out and Wesley looked around for the limousine. “It looks like your driver isn’t here yet, grandpa.” he said.
“So let’s take a walk!” Franklin said. Just then they heard a voice singing a capella. Franklin stopped. “What a wonderful voice,” he cried.
“It’s some homeless guy at the corner,” Wesley said. “He’s begging.”
Franklin urged Wesely to lead him to the singer and listened with great enjoyment until the man finished.
“This man,” Franklin said to Wesley, “is NOT a beggar. He has given me great pleasure.” Franklin pulled out his wallet and handed it to his grandson. “Please take out the cash and give it to him.”
Franklin asked Wesley to give the homeless singer all his money | Source: Unsplash
Wesley opened his grandfather’s wallet and saw a wad of $100 bills. It looked like well over $1000! “You want me to give all this to that homeless guy?” asked the incredulous Wesley.
“Yes, please,” Franklin said and smiled. Wesley looked at the money then at his grandfather, then he quickly pulled out the wad of money, peeled off $100, and stuck the rest in his jacket pocket.
“Here you go, my good man,” Weasley said loudly as he stuffed the $100 in the man’s begging cup. “This is from my grandfather.” He patted his jacket pocket and smiled to himself, but he didn’t know that behind the dark glasses his grandfather was seeing every move he made.
The following day, Franklin took his granddaughter Gina out to lunch, and things progressed in the same way. Gina was loving and supportive, and eager to help her poor ‘blind’ grandfather, and when they left, Franklin suggested they take a walk.
Wesley put the money in his own pocket | Source: Unsplash
Once again the homeless man was singing in the corner and Franklin asked Gina to lead him closer. “Oh, grandpa, that’s a wonderful voice! That talented man shouldn’t be living on the streets!”
Gina and her grandfather listened to the homeless singer arm in arm, and when he finished, Franklin pulled out his wallet and said, “Please, Gina, take out the cash and give it to him.”
Gina opened the wallet and pulled out the wad of cash, and gently placed it in the singer’s hand. “Sir, you have a wonderful voice. Thank you so much!” It was just as well that Franklin was wearing his sunglasses because tears filled his eyes.
That evening, Franklin invited his two grandchildren over for a visit and told them he had made up his mind. “You have,” asked Wesley eagerly. “So who runs the foundation?”
Gina did as her grandfather asked and gave the beggar all his money | Source: Unsplash
“Originally,” Franklin said, “I had thought about placing the foundation in the hands of one of you and splitting the money equally between you, but I’ve changed my mind.
“Gina, you will run the foundation, and when I die, the entire estate is yours.”
“Gina?” screamed Wesley. “Why Gina? And what about me? I get nothing?”
Franklin shook his head. “I love you, Wesley, you are my grandson. I have already stipulated a monthly allowance for life for you in my will.”
“But grandpa, why?” Wesley asked angrily. “Why not me?”
Franklin announced that Gina would run the foundation and get all the money | Source: Pexels
Franklin reached up and took off his dark glasses. His eyes were bright and sharp. “Because I can’t trust you, Wesley. I put you to the test and you failed.”
Wesley was flushed scarlet. “But…I still get that allowance from the estate, right?”
“Indeed,” said Franklin with a smile. “You will receive each month exactly what you gave that beggar: $100.”
Wesely wasn’t happy at all, but Franklin refused to change his mind even when Gina begged him to. After all, fair is fair.
Wesley paid the price for his dishonesty | Source: Unsplash
What can we learn from this story?
- People will reveal themselves when they think no one can see them. Wesley thought he could get away with it so he stole from a beggar.
- Be careful what you do because there might be justice in this world. Wesley never imagined that petty thievery would lose him his share of billions.
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