"There is a tearing of the
cultural fabric in India that will rip the heart out
of what has been a docile and tranquil culture."
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was
time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his
assistants or his children, he decided to do something different.
He called young people in the kingdom together one day.
He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next
emperor. I have decided to choose one of you. "The
were shocked, but the emperor continued. "I am going to give
each one of you a seed today - one very special seed. I want
you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year
from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I
will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose
will be the next emperor."
One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others,
received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the
story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he
the seed and watered it, carefully. Everyday, he would water it
and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk
about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling
kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four
weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were
talking about their plants, but Ling didn't have a plant and he
like a failure.
Six months went by--still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he
had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but
he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however.
He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought
their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother
he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to
be honest about what happened.
Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right.
He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was
amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They
were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot
on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A
few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try."
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the
people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great
and flowers you have grown," said the emperor.
"Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor."
All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room
with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the
Ling was terrified. He thought, "The emperor knows I'm a failure!
Maybe he will have me killed!"
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name
is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of
The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and
then announced to the crowd, " Behold your new emperor! His name
is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his
How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone
here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and
bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that
would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees
and plants and flowers.
When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted
another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with
the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it.
Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.
So let us be careful about what we plant now; it will determine
will reap tomorrow. The seeds we now scatter will make life worse
better for us or for the ones who will come after us. Someday we
enjoy the fruits or will pay for the choices we make.
Remain Blessed! I have written extensively about coaching and all
the items that I mentioned above. If you wish to
read more intensively about any of the topics I
mentioned, feel free to visit my personal
join us at Leadership
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Mike R. Jay, Founder