- Posted March 8, 2014 by
San francisco, California
Learning to see the good in all
There was once a king who knew he would be dying soon. He wondered, “Which of my two sons should I leave in charge of this kingdom?” He wanted to find out which son would be a noble, benevolent, and loving caretaker of his people.
The king called in his first son and said, “I want you to look throughout the kingdom and find one truly good person and bring him to me.” So this son went throughout the kingdom in search of a good person. He went to all the normal places where you’d expect to find a good person—and interviewed every kind of “good” person he could think of. He’d think, “This person looks good on the surface, but let me see if he’s truly good.”
He probed into their lives, trying to determine if they were truly good. Each time he decided, “This person is not truly good. They’re an evil person in some way.” He went to older people who he thought would be wise, and he spoke to the little children who seemed so good and innocent. With each person he found some defect in their character, personality, or behavior.
Finally, he came home to his father and said, “I have been throughout this whole kingdom. Yet I could not, in good conscience, find a single truly good person to bring to you.”
The king then called his second son and said, “My dear son, please search throughout my kingdom and find me a bad person.” So this son left to fulfill his father’s request. First, he went to all the places where you’d expect to find a bad person—from the dirtiest, grimiest parts of the city, to the brothels and the prisons. He went everywhere and interviewed people who, at first, seemed bad through and through. He spoke to them and tried to come to know them.
In this way, he spent an entire year traveling throughout the kingdom. Each time he met someone, he found that although the person had a fault or bad habit, they also had something good in them. Finally he gave up and returned home to the king. “My dear father, I am very sorry, but I have failed to find a truly bad person.” His father embraced him, saying, “My dear son, you are worthy of being king. I have found my replacement.”
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