Wisdom story: Will the impatient king learn his lesson or lose it all?
Once upon a time, there was a great king traveling alone through the unknown woods in his kingdom. It was quite unusual for a person of such status to do so. But the king had his reasons. To get unfiltered insights on what was going on in his kingdom and what people thought, were worried or happy about he secretly traveled among his people to gather information directly from them and not from his advisers who embellished or even fabricated information just to please him. But on this trip, the king traveled very far. He had never been so far before and very soon he got lost. He had to travel for two more days since he was aware that he was lost before he finally arrived at a hut late at night. He was hoping that the owners of the hut would welcome him in for the night as it was raining for the whole day while he was traveling. The king knocked on the door and an elderly woman opened the door. The king being soaked and tired asked kindly if he could stay for the night to get warm and maybe get something to eat. As he was waiting for the elderly woman to answer he already made the first step towards the entrance. The elderly woman angrily stoped the king, “Why are you so impatient, I haven’t invited you in!” The king apologized and again tried to explain that he is tired, wet, and hungry and that he was hoping for some kindness”. The elderly woman accepted his apology and invited him in.
The woman thought that the king was a soldier from his army. It wasn’t that rare that lost soldiers who were returning from battlefields sought shelter in her hut. She gave the king some water to clean himself and some water to drink. She then spread a rug for him to relax and after a while, she brought a bowl of hot rice and placed it in front of him. The king was so hungry that he quickly tried to eat the hot rice but the food burned his mouth and from the shock, he dropped the bowl of rice breaking the bowl and dirtying the floor. The elderly woman was annoyed again and quickly reprimanded the king “Unbelievable, you are too impatient and hasty, just like your king.” The king was surprised by the old woman’s words. So he asked her, “Why do you think our king is impatient and hasty?”
The elderly woman smiled and began to explain to him. “My dear boy, our king has a great dream of capturing all his enemy strongholds. During this process, he ignores all the small forts of his enemy and tries to capture only the large forts.” The king interrupted the old woman and said, “That is good. What’s the problem with that? ” She smiled and replied, “Well, my boy. Much like your impatience with eating, where you have burned your fingers and wasted your food, the king’s impatience to quickly defeat his enemy is resulting in a greater loss of his men in his army than there has to be. As a result, the king is losing the trust of his soldiers and his people, while on the other side, his enemy is becoming more confident with each fight.” The king understood what the elderly woman was telling him, but he didn’t know what would be a better tactic to win the war. So he asked the elderly woman for her insight, “Well what would you do if you were in the king’s place?”
Now the elderly woman sat down next to the king and explained, “Well first I would look over every map and make a strategy to slowly drain all the resources of the most strong forts of my enemy. You do that by taking away everything around them, which means the small villages, forts, and other settlements that are providing the strongholds with supplies, information, and everything else. As the enemy morale would slowly but sure decrease I would then start attacking the center of my enemy’s power that being his strongholds. Soon the strongholds that would be left would “cool down” and offer little or no resistance. The same goes with your bowl of rice. If you would have simply been less impatient and eaten the rice at the edges you would slowly but surely come to the rice in the middle that would cool down while you were “dealing” with the rice at the edge.” Hearing this, the king understood his mistake and realized that one must be patient and avoid haste in every situation. The next day the elderly woman pointed the way to the castle and when the king came home he immediately had a meeting with his generals and explained the new strategy. Not long afterward the king was victorious.
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What lesson did you get out of this story?