I have read this story once at a popular Islamic stories site for kids (islamcan.com). My kids and I just loved it and so did my pupils… I felt like sharing the same story with you that goes very well with the above picture…
Somewhere in some part of the world, an emperor called all the young people in the kingdom together one day and said to them, “I have been thinking about this lately that I must select any one of you to be the next emperor after me.”
Yayyy.. shouted the kids, they were just too excited to hear this.
The emperor continued with his plan, “I will give each one of you a seed today. You will go home and plant that seed, water it and nourish it for an year. Come back at this place after an year with your plants and that day, I will choose the kid who will be the next emperor after me!”
A boy named Ling also received a seed from the king and he came back with it at home. His mother helped him find a pot and some soil and they tucked the seed inside it. Each day, he watered it really carefully and watched it.
Three weeks went by in this manner… some kids at Ling’s school started talking about how their plant had started growing and becoming bigger. Ling was really disappointed. For nothing had come out of his seed till now. Many weeks went by but nothing grew from his seed. He knew that he had done some mistake and hadn’t properly taken care of it. He was sad and miserable.
After a few months, many kids were talking about how tall their plants were, they had now become small trees and so on. Ling did not say anything to anyone. He kept waiting and remained hopeful that the next morning, the seed might sprout.
Now what happened after an year?
All the kids went to the same place in the king’s palace. This time they all had their pots with them. Ling did not want to go at all with an empty pot but his mother convinced him to be honest and truthful about the matter… after all, there was no point in hiding the truth….
Ling was surprised to see everybody’s plants… tall, huge plantations, green and lush as ever!
Some kids laughed when they saw Ling’s empty pot while some felt sorry for him. Now the emperor came and he examined the plants. He nodded at the beaming faces and continued his walk across the room. Suddenly he saw Ling at one corner of the room with an empty pot. He asked his guards to bring him to him with his empty pot.
Ling was terrified and nervous. He went ahead with the empty pot held in his trembling hands.
To his surprise, the emperor said, “ last year when you all came here and I gave you the seeds, I didn’t tell you a small truth about it.. the truth is that the seeds were BOILED and I knew they would never ever grow! All of you have substituted your seeds for other fresh seeds except for one child here… Ling…. Only Ling has been honest and truthful and has had the courage to come till here with an empty pot. I have made my selection and Ling is going to be the new emperor.”
The lesson to be learnt from this story is universal in nature and very powerful.. you need guts to speak the truth, this quality many do not possess. Many of us are just too weak to face the consequences that lie ahead and these doubts in our minds are what make us go astray!
photo courtesy: www.islamicquote.tumblr.com