John the Mason (Do unto others……)

I once heard this story.

There was once a very successful mason named John. He had completed so many projects such that everyone wanted him to oversee any new project that came up.

At times people would choose to delay their projects if John was occupied with another project.

His boss was very pleased with his work. Despite this fact, John felt that he was not being paid enough money for his services.

After 10 years of service, John was due to retire. His boss had one last project for him before he retires.

The project was a two-story house. Considering that John had always been involved with skyscrapers, this was child’s play for him.

But given that he was always under-compensated, and this was his last project, John decided to recover his under-payments.

He would buy substandard materials, which were cheaper, and then he would pocket the rest of the money.

He did this for all materials until the house was finally completed. He was now going to retire.

The boss decided to throw him a retirement party. During the party, the boss sang praises to John indicating how he had performed superbly in his job, and how he had set a record which was unbreakable.

It was time for the retirement gifts giving. All his colleagues gave him their gifts and thanked him for his awesome work. Now it was time for the boss to give his gift. The boss came with an envelope and gave it to John.

John thought it was a cheque, as a retirement bonus. Sure enough, it was a cheque. But in addition, there were keys inside. This confused John.

The boss told John that the house which he had constructed as his last project, was one of the gifts from him.

But mark you, this was the same house that John had used substandard materials, in an effort to recover his underpaid salaries.

After the ceremony was over, everyone went home, and John went to his new home. But that night, there was a heavy downpour and John’s house collapsed killing him instantly.

The next morning people came to see what had happened and saw John’s body being retrieved from the collapsed building by policemen.


If you do good, you are doing it to yourself. John may have thought that he was actually recovering his under-paid salaries, while in reality, he was just buying a ticket for his death.


Do unto others what you want them to do on you.

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