Honesty is a great value that everyone should desire to live a fulfilling life. Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.
The story below teaches everyone that there is no shortcut to success. If you do, it will one day boomerang. Even in the face of adversity, that it is more important to always tell the truth. There is gain in being honest and a total loss in dishonesty.
The boy and the seed of integrity
One day, the emperor of China decides to hold a competition so he can choose a successor to the throne. He invites all the children of China to come to the palace and receive a single seed. Whoever can grow the best flower from that seed will be the new ruler of China.
All the children receive their seeds and the little boy has high hopes for what he will grow.
Weeks pass, and after he tries his best to help the seed grow it simply will not. Months pass and still he has nothing but an empty pot. When it is time for all the children to show the emperor the flowers they have grown, many boys and girls come with beautiful flowers in their pots. Ping has nothing in his pot and the other children are surprised that he is willing to come to the emperor with an empty pot.
As the emperor checks the pots he stops at the Ping’s empty pot and declares him the new emperor of China. “The seeds I gave to you all were cooked, and thus could not grow,” announced the emperor. The emperor admires Ping’s courage and honesty and rewards him with the throne.
Instead of lying and filling the pot with a different flower just to have something to show the emperor, he decides to tell the truth and face the shame of having the only empty pot. It also shows us that honesty is rewarded as Ping ends up with the throne to China.
This test was not for cultivating grain. It was a test of character; a test of integrity. It was the ultimate test. If a king must have one quality, it must be that he should be above dishonesty. Only this boy passed the test. A boiled seed cannot sprout.‘