The King’s Wish
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a kingdom far, far away. With his great wealth, endless power, and loyal counselors, the king could have lived a comfortable and happy life. But there was one more thing he wanted: absolute certainty that he was loved by every citizen in his kingdom.
To find out what his people thought about him, the king sent men in disguise to every corner of his empire. “If you discover somebody who does not love us,” he told the men, “bring them to us. We will educate them.”
Rumors soon started spreading about what happened in the castle’s deepest dungeons. Words, such as “imprisonment,” “cruelty,” and “torture,” were quietly whispered. To stop the rumors, the king decided that those words did not exist. People who wrote or pronounced non-existing words, were sent to the castle to receive help with their erroneous thinking.
The king’s wish to be loved continued to grow and extended beyond his kingdom. One day, he proclaimed, “Our neighboring country’s people are suffering under tyranny. We consider it our duty to free them. We will send some of our most devoted men there with the good news that their country now is united with our kingdom and that they are free to love us. At their arrival, our men will be greeted as liberators and heroes, believe us!”
Many young, proud boys heard the king, volunteered, and left. When they arrived, however, they were surprised to meet resistance. The enslaved people stubbornly refused to accept their liberation. They showed no interest in loving the king as his own people did.
The mission in the neighboring country lasted many years. Before it was successfully terminated, the king died and, with him, his crusade. After his death, it was revealed that his ultimate goal had been to win the love of people in many more nations.
His followers raised a gravestone for him, with words to ponder for future generations:
His longing for love was limitless,
Borders did not bind him.
Faithless foes furthered
Death and destruction,
Misunderstanding his mighty mission.