The Best Place on Earth©

A long time ago, in the Chinese village called Lin Tan, there lived a boy named Lee Lang. He had ten brothers and sisters and a mother and father who were very loving. Having large and happy families was very important to the people of ancient China.

Lee Lang was a somewhat restless boy. He often wondered what the world was like in far-off places outside of China. One day, when he was old enough to travel, he asked his father an unusual question: “Father, where is the best place on earth?”

His father was taken by surprise by such a question and had to think a moment before answering. He then said, “I can tell you the answer, my son, but why do you ask?”

“Because,” said Lee Lang, “I want to find this place and live there.”

“Very well,” responded the father, “if that will make you happy, I will see that you find it.”

“Oh, thank you, Father,” replied Lee Lang. “Just tell me the way.”

The father then said, “I will show you the way, my son, but you must follow the directions.”

“Of course I will,” said Lee Lang.

His father pointed over the horizon toward the setting sun. He said, “My son, once you leave Lin Tan, you must travel straight ahead toward the setting sun every day. You must never turn back. You must never turn right or left. And you must never settle in any land until you have found the best place on earth.”

The young man was overjoyed. He could hardly wait to leave. But his family and friends were not so happy. With tears in their eyes, they kissed him farewell, knowing they would never see him again.

Lee Lang then followed his father’s directions, traveling straight ahead toward the setting sun. He walked for many miles as the weeks passed into months. He climbed high mountains, walked through sandy deserts, swam rivers, and sailed oceans. He never looked back or turned right or left. He saw many wondrous sights: golden temples, rainbow waterfalls, busy villages, and magnificent cities. He dared not stop for very long, because the best place on earth might be just over the horizon.

Many years passed and Lee Lang grew older. He was getting tired and couldn’t go much farther. But something told him not to give up and to follow the sun for just one more day.

Late that afternoon, just before sunset, he reached a small village where everything looked very peaceful and friendly. It was like no other place he had seen in all of his travels. He soon noticed an old man waiting by the roadside.

“Tell me, sir,” he asked. “What is this place?”

The old man smiled and answered, “It is the best place in all the world.”

Lee Lang’s eyes opened wide. He began to feel the warmth in the air around him. Suddenly, he recognized the old man. It was his father!

“Father,” he cried with joy. “I have found Lin Tan!”

“Yes, my son,” said the old man as he put his arms around him.
“Welcome home.”

Search on earth, or high above,
But home is anywhere there is love.