Some years ago I put out a set of records called Love, Serve, Remember. The records – which had music, readings from the Gospel of John, and all kinds of neat things – came in an album with a beautiful booklet with text and pictures. It was a wonderful package, and we sold we sold it by mail order for about $4.50.
I showed the album to my father. Dad was a wealthy Boston Lawyer – a conservative Republican, a capitalist, and, at the time, the President of a railroad. He looked over the album and said, “Great job here! But, gee, you know – four and a half dollars? You could probably sell this for ten dollars – fifteen dollars, even!”
I said, “Yeah, I know”
“Would fewer people buy in if it were more expensive?,” he asked.
“No,” I relied. “Probably the same number would buy it”
“Well I don’t understand you,” he pressed on. “You would sell it for ten, and your selling it for four- fifty? What’s wrong, are you against capitalism or something?”
I tried to figure out how to explain to him how our approaches are differed. I said, “Dad didn’t you just try a law case for Uncle Henry?”
“Yeah,” he replied, “ and it was a damned tough case. I spent a lot of time in the law library.”
I asked, “Did you win the case?” And he answered, “Yeah, I won it.”
Now, my father was a very successful attorney, and he charged fees that were commensurate with his reputation. So I continued. “Well, I bet you charged him a hand and a leg for that one.”
Dad was indignant at the suggestion. “What, are you out of your mind? That’s Uncle Henry – I couldn’t charge him.”
“Well, that’s my problem,” I said. “If you find anyone who isn’t Uncle Henry, I’ll rip them off.”
-- Ram Dass