The Emperor's Seeds
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose
His successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children,
he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together
one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor.
I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor
continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today, one very special
seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year
from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge
the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a
seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him
get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully.
Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their
seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his
seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still
By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant,
and he felt like a failure. Six months went by; still nothing in Ling's pot.
He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants,
but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He
just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants
to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going
to take an empty pot but his Mother said he must be honest about what happened.
Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his Mother was right. He took
his empty pot to the palace.
When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other
youths. They were beautiful-in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot
on the floor and many of the other kids laughed at him. A few felt sorry
for him and just said, "Hey nice try."
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people.
Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers
you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the
All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his
Empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified.
"The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling,"
he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor
asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the
crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!"
Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he
be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed.
I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me
today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you,
except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found
that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I
gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me
a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"
If you plant honesty, You will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, You will reap friends.
If you plant humility, You will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, You will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, You will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, You will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, You will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, You will reap intimacy.
If you plant patience, You will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, You will reap miracles
But If you plant dishonesty, You will reap distrust.
If you plant selfishness, You will reap loneliness
If you plant pride, You will reap destruction.
If you plant envy, You will reap trouble.
If you plant laziness, You will reap stagnation.
If you plant bitterness, You will reap isolation.
If you plant greed, You will reap loss.
If you plant gossip, You will reap enemies.
If you plant worries, You will reap wrinkles.
If you plant sin, You will reap guilt.
So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow.
The seeds you now scatter will make life worse or better your life or the
ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, Or you
will pay for the choices you plant today.