To stick to one’s own internal policy is never easy, especially in the modern world where the temptations are too strong and the lure to be “the important one” quite potent. Which is why when any event or project happens; versions vary a lot, the outcome goes tangentially way off the expected on the downward spiral and tensions cause plenty unrest. In short, somewhere along the way of growth, success, achievement and modernism; the core principles of integrity, respect, honour, kindness and humaneness have been lost. While each one pursues their own versions of truth; eventually the masks will fall off and the bare bones of evidences will expose themselves. By then, if the path travelled is on the right grounds, one can safely move ahead with integrity and above all, peace of mind.
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson
“The emperor grew old in one eastern country and realized that it was time to choose a successor. But instead of nominating a successor from among one of his assistants or his heirs, he decided to choose something else. All the young people who only lived in the empire, he asked to come together in one day. When everyone gathered together, the emperor addressed the young people with these words: “I am already old, it’s time for me to resign. We need to choose the next emperor. I decided to choose one of you. ”
The children of the emperor were shocked! But the emperor continued. “Today I am going to give each of you one seed. These are seeds of very special plants. I want you to sow the seeds, pour water on them, and a year later, starting today, you must return here to grow from these seeds. Then I will compare the plants you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor! ”
One young man named Ling was also at the emperor’s reception that day, and he, like the others, received the seeds. He went home and anxiously told his mother about everything that had happened in the palace. Mama Ling helped the young man pick up the pot and soil for the plant, he sowed the seed and poured it. Every day he watered him, looked after him and watched if the sprouts appeared. After about three weeks, other young people started talking about their seeds and plants, which began to grow. Ling continued to check his seed, but nothing grew. It took another 3 weeks, then 4 weeks, then 5 weeks … However, nothing grew in Ling’s pot. While all the other young people were talking about their plants, about how fast they grow, Ling didn’t have anything, and he felt like a loser. Half a year has passed, but even a tiny sprout did not appear in Ling’s pot. With bitterness in his heart, he was forced to admit to himself that he had ruined his seed. However, Ling said nothing to his friends. He simply continued to wait, in the depths of his soul hoping that his seed would grow.
Finally, the year ended, and young people from all over the empire brought their plants to the emperor for testing. At first Ling told his mother that he was not going to carry an empty pot to the palace. But his mother advised the young man to be honest, to tell how everything happened, and although Ling felt devastated, in his heart he knew that his mother was right. He took his empty pot and went to the palace. Coming to the emperor, Ling was amazed at the variety of plants grown by other young people. They were beautiful, varied in shape and size. Ling put the empty pot on the floor and everyone started laughing at him. Some felt sorry for him, and they simply said: “Hey, well, that I tried.” Then the emperor entered the hall and greeted the young people. Ling tried to hide behind the backs of others.
“There are three constants in life . . . change, choice and principles.” Stephen Covey
“Well done! What magnificent plants, trees and flowers you have grown, ”said the emperor,“ Today one of you will be appointed emperor! ”Suddenly, in the depths of the hall, the emperor noticed Ling and his empty pot. He ordered the guard to lead him forward. Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows that I am a loser!” – he thought. “Maybe he will order me to be executed?” The guards brought Ling forward, and the emperor asked him his name. “My name is Ling,” he answered timidly. Everyone laughed. The emperor asked everyone to calm down, and then looked at Ling, and declared: “Here is your new emperor! His name is Ling! ”
Ling could not believe his ears. After all, he could not even grow his seed. How could he have been chosen by the new emperor?
Then the emperor said: “Exactly a year ago, I distributed the seeds to all those present here. I ordered you to take the seeds, plant them, water them, and come back to me today. But I gave you all the boiled seeds that could not germinate. All of you, with the exception of Ling, brought me trees, plants and flowers. When you realized that the seed would not grow, you replaced the seed that I gave you. Ling was the only one whose courage and honesty was enough to bring me a pot with my seed. That is why he will be the new emperor! ”
“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” Nelson Mandela