There once was a king who was very proud and arrogant. He asked his adviser, “Is there anyone who is happier, anyone who is more graceful, anyone who is greater than me?”
To the kings surprise the adviser said, “Oh yes, there are many.”
The king couldn’t believe that such people existed, so he said, “I want to see this with my own eyes.”
So the next day they dressed as commoner and rode off to see a man who lived in the kingdom. When they got there they saw that it was just a small hut. Inside there was an old man who wore old clothes and didn’t have many possessions. The king thought, “How can a man who has nothing be greater than me? I don’t believe it.”
But the adviser convinced him to stay calm and just follow along. The old man invited them to sit down so he could feed them.
After 15 minutes he came back and said, “God is so kind, He must have known you were coming, we have so much food today.” With a glitter in his eyes, he said, “Let us meditate in gratitude for what we’ve been given.”
So they sat very calmly for a while and thanked God. Then the old man said, “Open your eyes and enjoy the meal.” They both opened their eyes and there was only half a banana and a small piece of an old bread.
The king got angry. He was used to the finest of all foods served on the finest jeweled plates. The adviser again calmed him, “Shsssh shsssh... don’t blow our cover! Just eat the food.” The king could hardly believe what he was doing when he took a bite.
He chewed that bite of the banana and chewed and chewed. He was chewing this bite of banana for several minutes but it kept becoming more food in his mouth. After a very long time chewing this one bite he couldn’t even think of eating a little piece of bread because he thought it might turn in to a ton of bread in his mouth! The king started to realize that a miracle was happening. His pride was being humbled.
He prostrated himself before this simple man of God and said, “Forgive me, I am nothing compared to you. I want to learn from you. I cannot be a king anymore, you are a much greater man than I am. Who am I anyway?”
The compassionate old man explained something to him, “You are the king and that is what you must be, I am a man of God and that is what I must be. There is something that each of us can do though.”
“What is it?” asked the king, “We can all be kind to everyone we meet. We can be compassionate to all people and see that everyone is a part of the most loving God. This is what all of us can do.”
The king went back to his palace a much wiser and better man. He learned that trusting in the universe, being grateful for what we have, and seeing God in all is what makes true greatness.