There was once a young man who was fascinated by stories of a beautiful pearl. He was keen on seeing it…and dreamed of acquiring it. He kept asking everyone he met but they had no idea where this legendary pearl was, as no one had actually seen it.
Still, he didn’t give up and traveled across mountains and forests and deserts and oceans, braving weather extremes and continued to search.
One day, he met an old woman who told him that the pearl he was looking for was inside a cave in a faraway mountain. Energized, the young man continued on his travels and after several days and facing various difficulties, finally reached the mountain. He located the cave and peering in, saw a luminous glow in its depths. At last! It was the famous pearl—gorgeous, brilliant, and radiating a divine light.
He eagerly stepped forward to pick it up when he sensed a movement. Looking up, he saw an enormous dragon, hissing. Flames shot out of its mouth. The young man realized that he had no chance of fighting and defeating the dragon and disappointed, backed out of the cave.
He returned home feeling a little dejected. Years passed. He got a job, married, had a couple of kids. And life went on. Yet, he couldn’t forget that pearl. No matter what he was doing, it was always at the back of his mind—and he craved its beauty, its luster, its magic. The thought of this lovely pearl motivated him to live his life as a good person.
Each time he found himself envying someone, or when he felt like being unkind, or when he got mad at his kids, he remembered that pearl and his envy, anger and unkindness dissolved and turned into love. He treated everyone he met with kindness and people loved being around him.
Life went on. The young man grew old.
One night, as he lay in bed, he thought, I would love to see that beautiful pearl just once. Maybe I can have it, but surely, I can see it once?
The next morning, he set off on his journey to the cave in the faraway mountain. As entered the cave, he walked towards the glowing pearl reverently. It looked even more beautiful than when he had seen it before. Warily, he looked around for the dragon, but couldn’t spot it. Then, right next to the pearl, he saw a movement. To his surprise, it was the dragon. But this time, it was all shriveled up and tiny.
The man realized that he could easily take away the pearl and the dragon wasn’t strong enough to stop him.
Suddenly the dragon said, “I was your unkindness, your anger, your envy. Each time you thought about the pearl, you were inspired to turn them all into kindness and love—and I became smaller and smaller. Please take the pearl. It now belongs to you. You deserve it!”
The man gently picked up the pearl. He remembered the old lady who had told him where it was. He thought of all the people and events in his life that had made him what he was today—a kind person that everyone liked.
Have you found your pearl yet?
How would you like to be remembered by others?
#WednesdayWisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.