Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CHILDREN’S DAY STORY

SHOULD YOU TELL YOUR CHILDREN THIS STORY...?

Once upon a time  long long ago  there was a saying:

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

In those days of the distant past  people believed in idealistic things like Ethics and Moral Values – and followed Utopian Codes of Conduct – for example

DO NOT LIE

DO NOT CHEAT

DO NOT STEAL

Young children were taught moral values.

In order to educate them on the ethical and moral aspects of life  children were told fables, parables, inspirational tales and teaching stories. 

However  all these things are irrelevant in todays modern times.

In fact  if you teach your children such outmoded ethical concepts like speaking the truth and being honest  they will become unfit to live in the modern world. 

As is evident from practical observation  in order to succeed in todays modern times – you must lie  you must cheat – and  you must steal – and – honesty is certainly not the best policy

However  for old times sake  here is a story told to us when we were kids – which emphasized obsolete Utopian moral values – and imparted the archaic saying – “honesty is the best policy.

Do read it  but please do not tell this story to your children  lest they begin to mistakenly think that honesty is good – and they actually start believing that honesty will help them succeed in life

I suggest that you suitably modify the story to bring it in sync with present day ethics and moral values. 

THE SEED OF INTEGRITY
A Teaching Story 
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Once upon a time there was a childless King who wanted to choose a worthy successor to his throne after he passed away. 

He called all the young children in his Kingdom to his palace one day and said to the children: 

“I feel it is time for me to choose the next King. 

I have decided to choose one of you as my successor  as my Crown Prince  and groom you to be the King after I am gone.”

The amazed children listened spellbound as the King spoke: 

“I am going to give each one of you a seed today. 

Yes – I will give you all just one seed  but it is a very special seed. 

I want you all to go home plant the seed  water it  nurture it  and come back here to me exactly one year from today with the plant you have grown from this one seed

I will then judge the plants that you bring to me – and whoever grows the best plant – he will be the Crown Prince  the next King after me.” 

There was one small shy boy who was there that day – and he too  like the others  received a seed from the King. 

The small shy boy went home – and excitedly told his mother the whole story. 

His mother helped him get a pot and some planting soil – and he planted the seed and watered it regularly and nurtured it carefully.

Twice every day – in the morning and in the evening  the small shy boy would water the seed lovingly and watch to see  if the seed had germinated and grown. 

After a few days – some of the other children began to talk about their seeds and the lovely plants that were beginning to grow.

The small shy boy kept going home and checking his seed. 

He was disappointed that nothing was growing from his seed.

Days passed – then weeks  and months  but still – there was no sign of a plant growing from the small shy boy’s seed. 

But – the small boy still kept lovingly watering his seed regularly hoping that it would germinate.

By now – the other children were talking about their wonderful healthy plants.

But – the small shy boy did not have a plant.

He felt like a failure – but he kept persevering and nurturing his seed with love and dedication  in the optimistic hope that his seed would someday sprout a plant.  

Six months went by – and there was still no sign of a plant in the small shy boy’s pot. 

Everyone else had exquisite tall plants.

But – the small shy boy had nothing. 

Inwardly – he wondered why his seed was not germinating – and he feared that maybe he had not watered it properly – and so  maybe – he had killed his seed.

But – the small shy boy did not say anything to his friends.

He kept on tenderly watering and nurturing his seed with dogged determination and doting devotion – in the fond hope that his seed would grow and blossom into a beautiful plant. 

Finally – one year passed  and all the children of the kingdom brought their plants to the King for inspection. 

The small shy boy was scared and did not want to take his desolate plantless pot with just the soil and seed to the King.

But – his mother encouraged him to go – and she told him to take his pot with him and show it to the King. 

She told the small shy boy to be honest about everything – and speak the truth. 

The small shy boy felt fearful and nervous – but he listened to his mother – and he took his barren pot to the King. 

When the small shy boy arrived at the King’s Palace – he was astonished to see the variety of beautiful and exotic plants grown by all the other children. 

Totally crestfallen – the small shy boy put his desolate pot on the floor.

Everyone jeered in derision – and the other children mocked the small shy boy – and they made fun of the small shy boy and his desolate pot. 

A few children felt pity for him and tried to console the small shy boy. 

Suddenly – the King arrived. 

The King looked around the hall appraising the plants and showered words of praise to the gathered children: 

“It is really amazing – you all have really grown fantastic beautiful plants, trees and flowers. 

I am truly impressed. 

Today – one of you is going to be selected as the Crown Prince to be the next King...!!!” 

The small shy boy shivered with tremors of trepidation.

He was overcome with shame and fear – and he tried to hide in the back.

The King’s eyes searched all over – and suddenly – the King saw the small shy boy at the back of the hall with his barren pot.

The King ordered his guards to bring him in front of the throne.

The small shy boy was terrified – and he thought to himself: 

“When the King looks at my pot – and sees how badly I have failed in the task he gave me  he is sure to punish me...!!!” 

Seeing how frightened the small shy boy was – the King stepped down from his throne – he walked down towards the petrified boy – he lovingly put his hand on the small shy boy’s shoulders and announced: 

“This boy is your new King...!!!”

The small shy boy could not believe his ears.

It was unbelievable that the King should select a failure and loser like him who could not even sprout his seed be the Crown Prince. 

The King escorted the small shy boy to the throne and said to everyone: 

“One year ago – I gave all of you one seed each. 

I told you to take the seed – plant it  water it  and bring it back to me today. 

But what you did not know is that – I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow

Except this honest boy – all of you have brought me beautiful plants with exotic flowers and even trees with fruit. 

When you found out that the seed would not grow  you substituted another seed in the place of the original seed I gave you. 

This boy was the only one with the sincerity to nurture the barren seed for one whole year with dedication, hope and perseverance – and he had the courage and honesty to bring me the desolate pot with my original seed in it

Therefore  I select him as my Crown Prince to be the next King...!!!”


I wonder whether this story is relevant today – and  in the current scenario.

Dear Parents: 

You decide – before you tell this story to your kids. 

Or – maybe – you can modify the story accordingly in consonance with the modern value system.

Tell me, Dear Reader, in the world of today:

Is honesty really the best policy...? 

VIKRAM KARVE
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All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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