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." …
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
after 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
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. 3 weeks, 4
weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still
nothing. 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 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 kinds 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. "What great
plants, trees and flowers you
have grown," said the emperor.
"Today, one of you will be
appointed the next emperor!" 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
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
If you plant goodness, you will
If you plant humility, you will
If you plant perseverance, you
will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you
will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will
If you plant forgiveness, you will
If you plant openness, you will
If you plant patience, you will
If you plant faith, you will reap
If you plant dishonesty, you will
If you plant selfishness, you will
If you plant pride, you will reap
If you plant envy, you will reap
If you plant laziness, you will
If you plant bitterness, you will
If you plant greed, you will reap
If you plant gossip, you will reap
If you plant worries, you will reap
If you plant sin, you will reap
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.