Think of the struggles and most difficult times you have been through in your life. Think about those who stood by you, held your hands, and showed you the way during those times you must list down these names. you may initially come up with only a few names, but if you think really hard, recall the seemingly small struggles, this list will grow longer. Once you are done this, you will realize that you have lot to be thankful and grateful for!! And you will also realize that there are some people in your life who you need to treasure. Remember them and be there for them when they need you!!
This remind me the story of a King which i never forget.This king forgot to be thankful to those who were good to him. But thankfully, better sense eventually prevailed in him and he had an opportunity to mend his ways:
This king ruled a small kingdom. He had everything he could wish for! However, he had one big FLAW!! He enjoyed bloodshed and as there were no wars in his kingdom,he often became cruel to his own subjects. He awarded the most brutal punishments for smallest of mistakes. His favourite was putting an offender in an enclosure with hungry hunting dogs and watching the person be devoured to bones.
The dogs that he employed for this terrible game were taken care of by two caretakers who had been instructed to keep these dogs hungry for days before someone was scheduled to be killed by these dogs.
One day, one of the courtiers arrived late for his duty. This particular courtier was responsible for the upkeep of the personal attire of the king. The king, therefore, was kept waiting and was late in attending the royal courts. This was treated as a grave mistake that attracted punishment. This courtier was in the service of the king for the last 25 years and was very honest, sincere,hardworking and loyal to the king. However,the king was not in habit of sparing anyone. The king, without taking into consideration the courtier’s past good record, ordered his soldiers to throw him in the cage of hungry dogs.
The courtier prayed and begged the king, “oh, Lord! you are like God for all of us, have some mercy. I have served you wholeheartedly for 25 years please forgive me and spare my life”
The king was adamant; he did not want to lose the chance of watching the most entertaining feat of a living man being torn into pieces by hungry dogs. He refused and ordered his soldiers to execute the penalty.
The courtier again pleaded, ” oh King! you are our God and we cannot disobey your orders. But keeping in mind my children and family, kindly allow me ten days to arrange for their well-being.”
King agreed to grant him 10 days and warned that no further time shall be allowed. The courtier thanked the God and went straight to meet the caretaker of the dogs. He pleaded with the caretakers to allow him to serve the dogs for 10 days.
The dog’s caretakers laughed and said, ” what will you gain by serving these dogs that are soon going to tear apart your flesh of your body”
” You will not understand it”,replied the courtier. However, the caretakers allowed the courtier his last wish.
During those ten days, the courtier took good care of all dogs. He cleaned them, bathed them, fed them and provided all types of comfort to all the dogs. He practically lived with the dogs, played with them and then even slept with them. He did this throughout the 10 days, including the last two days when dogs were to be kept hungry.
On the 11th day, the king’s men dragged the courtier to the compound where the hungry dogs were struggling to break loose. The hands of accused courtier were tied, he was blind folded and then thrown into the cage of hungry dogs. All of those present there had seen such shows earlier as well. They knew that the moment a person is thrown into the cage all dogs pounce upon him like skilled hunters. They pull down their prey quickly and devour them with astonishing speed. Everybody was anticipating the same kind of performance again.
But to their dismay, nothing like that happened. Instead, the hungry dogs stood still watching their prey. THEY LOOKED CONFUSED! A moment later the dogs started sniffing courtier and started pulling at the rope that tied his hands. Two dogs started licking the courtier and almost all were waggering their tales wildly as if they were meeting a long-lost friend!
The king was angry and furious to see his most entertaining sport spoiled. Instead of killing the man the dogs were showering him with love.He asked the courtier what he had done to all the dogs!
His reply was simple, ” Oh King! I have served these dogs only for 10 days and they have not forgotten what i did for them. But you, who are a human being and a great King, forgot what i did for you for the last 25 years.”
This response touched the King. If animals could be thankful to people who had served them, he, a human being and a king, had to be better. This little incidence taught the king a very important lesson. He abolished the cruel punishment and personally thanked the courtier who had shown him the right way.
This story also reminds me Swami Vivekanand who has also spoken about this great traits:
” Who is helping you, don’t forget them.
Who is loving you, don’t hate them.
Who is believing you, don’t cheat them.”