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Finding What Matters

(Based on a fairy tale from the Philippines)

A king had two sons. As he grew old, he desired to appoint one of them as his successor.
He gathered the wise men of his land and called his two sons to come.  He gave each of them five silver coins and said:

“With this money, you shall fill the hall in our castle by evening. How you do it is up to you.”

The wise men said, “This is a good task.”

The eldest son left and passed by a field where workers were harvesting and pressing sugarcane in a mill. The pressed sugarcane lay uselessly around.  He thought, “This is a good opportunity to fill my father’s hall with this stuff.” He reached an agreement
with the workers’ supervisor, and by late afternoon, they managed to fill the hall with the threshed sugarcane.

When it was filled, he went to his father and said:

“I have fulfilled your task. The hall is filled. There’s no need to wait for my brother. Make me your successor.”

The father replied, “It is not evening, yet. I will wait.”

Soon after, the younger son arrived. He requested to remove the threshed sugarcane from the hall, and it was done. Then, he placed a candle in the middle of the hall and lit it.  Its glow filled the hall to every corner.

The father said, “Your brother spent five silver coins to fill the hall with useless stuff. You didn’t even need a single coin and filled it with light. You filled it with what people need. Therefore, you shall be my successor! ”

The text as download: Finding What Matters