Once there lived a great king renowned for being wise and intelligent. As the thought of retiring came to the king’s mind, he spread the word across his kingdom that he was soon to appoint a new successor for his throne.
The news of the search for a new successor caused a great stirring across the land. The king was considered to be the wisest to have come to the power. His clever policies had helped to build a just and content nation over the course of his ruling. Very few were surprised to know that he was to eschew the traditional route of the family for the search of the one worthy of the throne.
The king called the youth of the nation together and gathered them in the royal hall. The king gave each of them a seed and said “ This is a very special seed. I want all of you to plant it, take care of it and come back after a year with what you have. Based on what you bring back, I will decide the next king of the country.”
Everyone left the gathering with a seed. They excitedly planted their seed and waited for it to grow. As the months passed by the youth of the country was talking about how their plant has grown tremendously beautiful. Among all the youth, there was a young man whose seed hadn’t even sprouted. Although, he used to water the seed every day and did everything to make it grow, the seed wouldn't grow. He could hear people talking about their plants. But still, he has nothing.
A year had passed from the day the seed was distributed. All the youth was summoned to the palace where they were to display the outcome of their seeds. The young man, whose seed did not grow as the others, was very reluctant to even attend the gathering. But, his mother insisted him to go to the palace with what he had because his efforts had been true and that there was no shame in showing that. The young man went to the palace with his pot of soil.
In the gathering, he was amazed to see the variety of beautiful plants others had grown. The young man put his empty pot on the floor while a number of the others were laughing at him as he did so. The young man was embarrassed to be there.
When the king arrived in the hall and inspected each and every pot. He slowly examined all of the different foliage and the beaming children that accompanied them. The young man was hiding in the back trying to go unseen, but the king found him, and gave pause when he did. Walking over, he eyed the young man and his plant closely but he said nothing. He ordered his guards to bring the young man to the front of the room.
The young man was very sad as the king had noticed his utter failure to grow a seed. Arriving at the front, the guards let go of him, leaving him standing alone before all of the others, many of whom were snickering and pointing. The king called the young man closer. He held his hand and raised it and said loudly “Behold, everyone, your new king!”
The king said “One year ago, I gave everyone a seed. I instructed you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back. What you were unaware of, was that every seed I handed out had been boiled beforehand so that none of them were fit to grow! All of you after a year have brought me trees, plants and flowers, born of your dishonesty. The seeds which grew these plants were not the ones I provided you. Therefore, look upon the only honest one among you, this young man, and know now why he deserves to be your ruler.”
"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom" - Thomas Jefferson