In the city of Ur, people lived in cooperation, exchanged goods and even lent each other the things they sometimes needed from time to time. If a farmer needed a plough and didn't have anything to exchange for it, the ironsmith would lend him one.
It was understood, that when the ironsmith needed grain, he could call on the farmer, who would then give him the grain. Everyone trusted each other.
But Arth, who observed them from close-yet-far, knew that everything was not right. A cowherd traveling in order to exchange his cows, found it very difficult to transport cows. When it came to rivers, cows were especially stubborn.
Also, if along the way any cow was hurt or simply tired, the cowherd was already at loss, even before bargaining could begin.
Nevertheless, Ur prospered and people from other lands came to Ur.
One day a man approached Lohi the ironsmith for an axe. In return, he offered Lohi, a small dagger. It was the most beautiful object Lohi had ever seen.
The dagger had a gently curving blade, with a beautiful carved handle, with two jewels embedded in it. In the evening light the jewels glowed like the moonlight. The man said reassuringly, "It once belonged to the prince of Dilmun. He gave it to me in return for the help I rendered to him."
Lohi was convinced and he gave the man the axe.
Some days later, Lohi in a boastful mood, was showing the dagger to his friends, when Ur's precious stone cutter passed by. He looked at the dagger, and declared, "These jewels are nothing but cheap imitations and this dagger is certainly not worthy of a prince".
On hearing this Lohi felt as if he had been touched with a hot iron from his own smithy.
Seeing Lohi, Arth exclaimed:
"Ah woe is he,
who believing in a fair exchange,
finds that his trust in his fellow men,
has put him in jeopardy".
The Old Man Monetary is copyright of Reserve Bank of India and is posted here in public interest and to spread banking awareness among kids.