How To Carry Your Burden
A monarch of long ago had twin sons. There was some confusion about
which one was born first. As they grew to young manhood, the king
sought a fair way to designate one of them as crown prince. All who
knew the young men thought them equal in intelligence, wit,
personal charm, health, and physical strength. Being a keenly
observant king, he thought he detected a trait in one which was not
shared by the other.
Calling them to his council chamber one day, he said, "My sons, the
day will come when one of you must succeed me as king. The burdens
of sovereignty are very heavy. To find out which of you is better
able to bear them cheerfully, I am sending you together to a far
corner of the kingdom. One of my advisors there will place equal
burdens on your shoulders. My crown will one day go to the one who
first returns bearing his burden like a king should."
In a spirit of friendly competition, the brothers set out together.
Soon they overtook an aged woman struggling under a burden that
seemed far too heavy for her frail body. One of the boys suggested
that they stop to help her. The other protested: "We have a burden
of our own to worry about. Let us be on our way."
The objector hurried on while the other stayed behind to give aid
to the aged woman. Along the road, from day to day, he found others
who also needed help. A blind man took him miles out of his way,
and a lame man slowed him to a cripple's walk.
Eventually he did reach his father's advisor, where he secured his
own burden and started home with it safely on his shoulders. When
he arrived at the palace, his brother met him at the gate, and
greeted him with dismay. He said, "I don't understand. I told our
father the burden was too heavy to carry. However did you do it?"
The future king replied thoughtfully, "I suppose when I helped
others carry their burdens, I found the strength to carry my own."
[ Author Unknown -- from 'Aiken Drum' (Aiken@AikensLaughs.com) ]
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