The Monk and the Minister

OK, let’s get this blog off and running.  Here’s one of my favorite parables to get us started:

Two close boyhood friends grow up and go their separate ways.  One becomes a humble monk, the other a rich and powerful minister to the king.

Years later they meet.  As they catch up, the minister (in his fine robes) takes pity on the thin, shabby monk.  Seeking to help, he says:

“You know, if you could learn to cater to the king you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.”

To which the monk replies:

“If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.”

Most all of us fall somewhere between the two.  As for me, it is better to be closer to the monk.

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  1. Tom Kemper
    Posted June 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Marine Corps officer, Ad Agency VP, test driver … now a farmer. Glad to be more monk than minister. SemperFi, Tom

    • Posted June 5, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Hey Tom….

      Congrats! You’re my 1st poster! Thanks. now I’ll be expecting a lot more from you….

      • Posted February 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        That is a pretty good story. I can see how it relates to frugality – if you live within your means, you won’t fall into debt and would be able to retire early.

        Best Regards,

        Dividend Growth Investor

        • jlcollinsnh
          Posted February 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Glad you like it and nice to see it still getting some attention.

  2. Posted August 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from
    an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking
    about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

    • Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Hey MA….

      So, this blog looks established? Ha! :)

      Boy howdy, am I the wrong person to ask about this! I’m still stumbling about in the dark.

      I launched it just over a year ago and randomly choose WordPress after somebody mentioned it. From what I gather since, it is one of the better hosting sites, so I’d recommend it if you have no other preferences.

      I’m also not very technical, but the set up process was pretty easy. As they say, if I can do it anyone can.

      I’ve paid no attention to building an audience or monitizing it, but I probably should. So like you, I’m in need of help!

      Good luck and post a comment with a link to your blog when you get it up and running.


  3. Posted August 30, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Love it! This exists in different versions but this probably would win the top place in my mind. Thanks! And I would like to be more like the monk :).

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted September 20, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Maria!

      Glad you found it here!

      Lots to be said for the monk’s approach… 😉

  4. smr
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Funny, I think the monk is the one in the controlled “conditioned” life and the minister is living with the “dirt” and “real” life where people, environment, natural world, governing collide and compose the world we live in. The days of Kings are over and power is more distributed due to democracy but it is messier and very organic.

  5. Jo
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 2:26 am | Permalink


    My husband and I recently discovered your blog, and it is like a breath of fresh air, confirming a lot of things we already believed, but also giving lots of new insights. The past couple years, we have been practicing living simply. Now we have some great ideas on how to use this practice as part of our hope to retire early. Excellent.

    We look forward to going through the rest of your posts!

    -Jo & B

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted May 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to you both…

      …I’m delighted you found your way here. :)

  6. Trish Rempen
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the justification – right there in print.
    Knew I was always more a monk than a minister….!
    Thanks for reminding me!

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