Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a king named King ISDee. King ISDee wanted the best kingdom in the world. He wanted his people to thrive. He wanted peace and prosperity. His advisors were the best money could buy, always training apprentices to take their places over time so King ISDee would never be forced to rule alone.
One day a new merchant approached King ISDee’s advisors with a thought. The people King ISDee wanted to thrive were potentially troubled. While most were thriving as they should, a small percentage were struggling. King ISDee wanted all his people to thrive, not most. The merchant had a plan to make that happen.
A proven plan. A plan 9 out of 10 dentists approved. A state-of-the-art, new and improved plan.
The people would never participate if King ISDee didn’t require it, but if he would, the merchant guaranteed the best results ever.
The advisors listened to the merchant and told him they would take his plan under advisement. They did. They talked about it over small dinners, excited at the thought that they could possibly help King ISDee reach his goal of helping ALL his people thrive, thrilled at the idea of a proven plan to make that happen. The apprentices loved the idea. They wanted to go forward immediately. The sage advisors said they needed more time to look at the potential outcomes of the plan and to study the reasons for failure to thrive in Kind ISDee’s land of plenty. While they studied, though, they would meet with the merchant.
The merchant met with the advisors over time. At the meetings he heard about the excitement of the apprentices and asked if some of the apprentices could spend time with him, learning the ins and outs of his new plan. The advisors agreed that would be a wonderful idea. They planned a dinner, but the merchant told them he had made arrangements for an elaborate feast at the best restaurant in the kingdom. The advisors could feast and debate and look at the details of his plan without worry. The advisors thanked the merchant, but they declined his invitation. They could not feast for fear the merchant’s generosity would affect the outcome of their debates.
The kindly merchant understood. He told them the feast was already paid for and would still take place, but no one had to attend. Perhaps the advisors would stop by for a snack…or not. The choice was theirs.
The advisors thanked the merchant and sent him on his way with an apprentice.
The apprentice loved the merchant from the start. The merchant cared! He wanted to make the world a better place! He wanted ALL of Kind ISDee’s subjects to live lives of beauty. The merchant loved the apprentice from the start. He understood the message, the meaning, the world that could be!
Together they planned how to convince the advisors to hear the plan. How to reform them!
The apprentice invited his friends to the feast. A few advisors stopped by for snacks. They all agreed the merchant’s plan could be an easy answer to the persistent problem of the few who failed to thrive. They’d spent so many hours trying to find HARD answers when the easy answer was right here with the merchant. But the few advisors knew they could not convince the majority of the advisors to agree to the merchant’s plan. The majority had decided an easy answer was no true answer. They insisted on continuing the HARD work of problem solving.
The merchant scoffed. The few failures! King ISDee could not continue to leave them behind.
The advisors snacking agreed. But what could they do?Wringing their hands and shaking their heads they left the feast.
The apprentice had an idea. They would bypass the advisors and go straight to King ISDee.
The merchant loved the idea.
King ISDee listening to the merchant in horror. What?! He had a few failing to thrive in his kingdom?! When there was a proven plan that would save them?!
He called a special session with his advisors and took them to task.
The advisors explained that the majority were strong. They were excelling in all areas. But the few strugglers were affected by sickness, death, hunger and homelessness. The few could be helped, but it would take time. It would take true intervention in their lives. It would take an investment. Perhaps a master advisor could go to the area and make a change.
King ISDee thought of the plan. Yes, perhaps it could work. But first he wanted to speak to the merchant once more.
The merchant listened to the advisors’ solution and shrugged. Yes, the investment COULD work. But why when he had a PROVEN plan that would work better, faster, cheaper?
The king called his advisors in and asked them for advice. He found some of his advisors liked the merchant’s plan. They had feasted with the merchant and even helped him revise his plan. After much discussion, he informed the advisors of his decision. He was going to purchase the merchant’s plan.
Twenty years later…
King ISDee shook his head as he looked at the latest report on his kingdom. The report provided by his oldest master advisors warned of trouble. A few in the kingdom thrived, most simply existed, many failed. The report made no sense. He held up a different report. One given to him by the merchant. It showed most in the kingdom thriving. It blamed the few failures on advisors who refused to implement the plan. He railed against his advisors. Fewer now than ever, they trembled in the angry king’s presence. But they believed in their calling. They had appointed a speaker. The speaker stood and swallowed then spoke.
“King ISDee, perhaps the answer is to visit the people. Put the reports aside. Spend real time with them. Look at the reality of the situation instead of the report.”
King ISDee considered the advise. He heard his advisors. But in the end he held up the proven plan. “The data supports this conclusion,” he said.
And he continued to rule his shrinking kingdom with an iron fist and the merchant’s plan. And the few who failed to thrive grew into the many. And the advisors died…one by one until none were left. And then one day King ISDee took his last breath. And the merchant pretended to mourn while the apprentices placed a gold crown upon his head.