Harvey was 55 years old, a very unhealthy, very unhappy, widower who had started off in life like a ball of fire across the heavens but after a second bankruptcy, lay burned out in a small, sad-looking, two-bedroom house on Pike street. He had two sons who wouldn’t speak to him and he fought with all his neighbors every chance he got.

It was Friday, it was hot, and it was trash day on Pike street. Harvey had his ear cocked for the trash men and their truck and he would be watching to make sure they didn’t leave a single scrap of trash at his pick-up sight or they would hear from him. About eleven o’clock, instead of a trash truck, Harvey heard a rustling sound at his front door but by the time he got the door open all he saw was what looked like a box of trash sitting there and an Arabian looking guy jumping into and racing off in a big black car.

Harvey’s face turned beet red and he kicked the box over, spilling everything onto the porch. He was about to kick again at the contents of the box but froze in mid-air when his eyes fell on a beautiful, expensive-looking lamp. It looked like Aladdin’s lamp.

Harvey sat on his couch flabbergasted; a large, big-bodied man in a very authentic-looking Genie costume stood before him with a broad ironic smile. Harvey’s expression was as sour as green apples as he sat there chewing on what he had just heard. Harvey had been ready to wish for the most incredible things the Genie had ever heard of but was now super sullen after being told that he would be granted only one wish and that the Genie had already chosen the wish.

Harvey sat there sour as he was about to receive his one wish. “The wish”, the genie said, “is knowledge and understanding. Harvey, you’ve already had all those other wishes in one form or another….. Harvey, you’re receiving the most precious gift any human can receive.” The Genie watched Harvey’s face draw tighter, then continued “This wish will really set you free, Harvey. This gift of knowledge and understanding is that ALL PEOPLE COME INTO THIS WORLD EQUAL, TRULY EQUAL because People are all created by God, in and of Himself, totally equal in His sight………. The really hard part of grasping that you live, move, and have your being in God is realizing you are valuing the temporary things of the earth, materiality, more than your fellow beings or your Father; who made you and sustains you ………. The big problem is you think you are a material being that must fight for everything he has instead of following God’s direction on how to live in His grace.’

“Harvey, look at it this way; do you think that people with great talent; sports stars, movie stars, music stars, political stars, scientists, comedians, and talking heads are better or greater people than you or your neighbors that you’re always fighting with or are they just regular people with great talent under a spot-light and have to fight the same battles that all people do to retain self-respect; and, if they lose the battle, they pay the same price any person will? The point is, that this world is just a stage where you are learning to deal with who you really are and until you master it you or anyone else who hasn’t gotten it yet will just have to keep trying, try, trying again because you are and they are eternal. This is an arena of souls not of stars and rich and poor people.’

“Harvey, just let those ideas go of setting the world on fire and that the world is against you and admit that all your fellow human beings are just like you, working their spiritual plan of completion, consciously or unconsciously. Take this gift and go out into the world and you will see that everyone has changed because the miracle of God’s world is that people look, act, and behave exactly as you expect them to, they live in God too. They are a mirror for exactly who you think you are.”

The Genie went back into the lamp and Harvey went back into the world where his health began improving every day, where he began rebuilding a loving relationship with his sons and made another fortune; this time not from cut-throat competition but by being of great service to thousands of his brothers and sisters.