Once upon a time there was a king who ruled a vast kingdom. He had a wizard for his assistant. The king was loved by all of his subjects, primarily because he had the ability to make each individual feel like they were the most special person in the kingdom. The king would welcome a private audience with a subject that wanted to speak with him at any time of the day or night.
The wizard soon became jealous of the king. He did not like that the people loved and respected him. Therefore, the wizard, who was a trusted servant of the king, began to slowly put small amounts of poison in the king’s food. The king became ill and eventually was bedridden and unable to listen to the personal stories of his subjects.
During this time, the wizard appointed three emissaries to serve him. He had the emissaries divide the people of the kingdom up into three separate groups. Now the job of these three emissaries was to set up appointments for the subjects to gain a private audience with the king. But, of course, since the king was sick, he could not really see anyone. Not one subject from any of the three groups was ever really allowed to see the king.
But after awhile, a strange thing happened: People in one group began telling subjects from another group that they had spent time with the king! This made each group jealous and angry towards the other groups. When the subjects of one group complained to their emissary about this, each emissary (secretly under orders from the wizard) said that members from other groups had convinced the king that their particular group had been saying bad things about him. Because of this, the group in question had fallen into his disfavor. Therefore, the king was limiting his time that he was spending with that particular group.
Some of the subjects went so far as to change groups, but of course this didn’t work either because, in reality, no one had been allowed to see the king since his illness.
Because the wizard had tricked each group into being played against the other, animosity continued to build up between the three groups. Eventually, they became so angry that they went to war with one another. Sometimes two of the groups would band together to fight against the third group, but secretly all of these groups were at enmity with each other.
The evil wizard enjoyed watching the subjects destroy themselves, as he looked upon them with contempt and saw them as nothing more than tools to increase his power.
There are two different endings to this story.
Here is the first ending: The king eventually succumbed to his poisoning. The evil wizard took over the kingdom and turned all of the subjects into slaves. He used the animosity that he had created between the three groups to dupe them into killing each other off. Those who were left lived a life of drudgery and hopelessness.
Here is the second ending: The people admitted to themselves and to each other that none of them had seen the king for a very long while. They threw the charlatans out of the kingdom who had claimed that they had. And then they kicked in the doors of the castle, walked right past the wizard and his emissaries and met directly with the king himself.
The king, upon seeing the resolve of his subjects in gaining an audience with him, was moved to tears.
For his treachery, the wizard and his emissaries were sent to the gallows. Through their love of the king and his returning to a proper diet, the king’s good health was once again restored.
In the end, the people came together as one throughout the vast kingdom. They now have access to the king at all hours of the day and night. They are no longer divided by the three groups and help each other to find the way to the king, knowing that when each subject gets closer to him, it actually enhances the ability of another subject to do the same.
There is once again peace in the kingdom.
So which ending will we have? That’s up to us.
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