The Wisest King in the World©

In the ancient land that we now call Greece, there once lived a young prince who seemed to be wise far beyond his young age of thirteen.

One day he approached his father, the king, and said, “Father, you told me that I would be king someday.”

“Yes,” said the king, “you will one day rule this land and all of its people.”

“But father,” questioned the prince, “shouldn’t kings be smarter than all the people they rule?”

“True,” replied the king, “it would be wonderful if they were. But not all leaders are smarter than those who follow them.”

“Well,” exclaimed the prince, “I want to be the smartest king in the entire world. Then I can rule everyone in the world, because no one will be my equal.”

The king smiled. “That has never been done before, my son.”

“But I can do it,” stated the prince, “if you will help me.”

“Of course I will help you. What do you have in mind?” asked the king.

The young prince asked, “Who is the smartest person in the world?”

The king paused for a moment, then replied: “There is a man in the city of Athens, named Aristotle, who has the greatest mind in all the world. His students call him Aris the Mind.”

“Please bring me to him, father. I want him to teach me everything he knows about everything in the world.”

The king was delighted. With pleasure, he replied, “Very well, my son, you will have your wish.”

He then took his son to meet Aris the Mind, who was quite pleased to hear the prince’s request. He greeted the young prince and said, “Your Highness, though you possess more treasure than any other young man your age, you have chosen to possess the greatest treasure on earth: knowledge. I will teach you everything I know about everything in the world.”

The prince was overjoyed. Aris the Mind began to tutor him in every field of study known at that time, such as art, literature, and science. The prince learned to think clearly about what is right and what is wrong. He was taught that a healthy body is important for a healthy mind. And he took great interest in knowing about people and their different cultures.

Just a few years later, the king died at the hands of his enemies. The prince had recently turned the age of twenty and was crowned king. After a short time the young king began making plans to conquer the world. He called his old teacher, Aris the Mind, to his court. “Tell me now, sir, am I the smartest king in all the world?”

Aris the Mind replied, “No, Your Highness, I do not believe you are the smartest, since new knowledge is gained every day. However, I truly believe that you are the wisest king in all the world.”

The king was somewhat surprised at the answer. He asked, “What is the difference between being smart and being wise?”

Aris the Mind responded, “To be smart is a wonderful gift. But the world is full of smart fools. To be wise is far greater, because those who are wise make full use of what they have learned. Your Highness, you have wisely prepared yourself to be the first king to rule the world.”

Very soon after, the young king reached his goal. His name was Alexander the Great. He was the first king to gain enough knowledge and power to conquer and rule what was then known as the civilized world.

Prepare like a bird, and do your best:
Tomorrow's reward will fill your nest.