Friday, January 2, 2009

Putting yourself in harm's way (Emperor)

Someone told me a story the other day and I thought it was something that belonged in my Daily Dumbbells. I may tell the story a little differently but hopefully, you will get the point.

A Chinese Emperor was in council and trying to make a point to his closest advisors. He called for his three sons to come to his chambers. He asked for them to be let in, from the youngest to the oldest. He briefly explained to his council, that life came in stages and that what they were about to see, would demonstrate this. He took a vase from one of the tables and placed it above the entry door.
The first son entered and the vase came tumbling towards him. The son quickly pulled his sword from its sheath and in one motion, struck the vase, splitting it in half. The youngest son smiled as he came up from his squatted position, placing the sword back in its sheath. The council applauded and praised the emperor’s son. The emperor stood, bowed and asked that his son leave the room. The emperor stood and taking another vase , placed it above the door. He looked over to his council and told them that although his youngest son was indeed great, his second son was even greater.
As the second son entered the room, the vase, again came tumbling towards him. The son stopped and without looking, placed his hand above his head catching the vase. This was met with a loud rumble of applause from the council. The emperor motioned his arm to silence them. Without instruction, his son walked calmly to the table where the vase had been sitting and returned it to its spot. He turned to his father, bowed and left the room. As the emperor stood for the third time, he again gave praise to his son but asked the council to reserve their admiration. He advised them that his eldest son was even greater. The council stood in anticipation as the emperor placed the third and final vase above the door.
The emperor sat quietly, looking at the door. As time passed the council began whispering to each other. They wondered if the other son would ever come. Some thought that because of what the second son had done, the third feared he could not do better. After much time had passed, one of the emperor’s top advisors grew so impatient that he went to the door to see what was delaying the last son. He removed the vase from above, and opened the door. As he opened it, the third son, who had been waiting there all along, entered the room. Passing the advisor, he walked to where his father was sitting and knelt before him.

There are many things you can take from this story. The way it relates to my life right now, is that I can be smarter by not putting myself in bad situations then trying to take them on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent allegory. Better to avoid trouble.