Once there was a king who was having three beautiful daughters. As he was getting old, he was worried for princesses as they were very young and beautiful. As days passed he was older and sick day by day. He thought its time now to decide who should take the throne and marry her eldest daughter.
Next day, announcement was made to gather all the people from the city. Within few hours news spread across the city and people started wondering how king would choose his heir?
In the same town there lived a mother and son. They were very poor. For them feeding stomach for one day was like a blessing. Usually they hardly were able to gather any supplies.
The poor mother said to her son "why don't you go to palace and try your luck."
He replied, "Mother I am so poor that I wont be able to get noticed, forget about any favor from the king. I can't go."
She said with a smile, "Son, it doesn't matter. Just go and see what our king is upto."
He decided to go. On the designated date he reached the palace. There were few other boys of the same age. He had reached earlier, so luckily he go to stand in the front row.
Pin drop silence filled the hall as soon the king arrived. King glanced through the hall at all young boys. He picked 3 boys and as the luck was in favor of our hero, he was also called forward by the king.
King gave them small amount of seeds and asked them to plant and come after three months. All the boys were very happy that they will get to marry eldest daughter, rule the kingdom and live in palace forever.
That night, poor boy reached home and narrated entire episode to his mother. She asked him to plant the seeds. Days passed but there was no sign of bud. He was thinking, what will the king say when he goes empty handed. His mother said "Son, leave it to God, don't worry".
Three months flew like days. All the three boys were asked to show themselves in palace. King came and saw the stems with beautiful flowers in two boys' hands and when he saw this poor boy, he smiled. King asked the poor boy, "what happened? why couldn't you plant a seed". The boy replied shedding tears that he tried many times but failed to plant.
Then the king said I gave all three of you boiled seeds which can't be planted. The boys were shocked. The other two boys had cheated, they bought new seeds and planted. And this poor boy stuck to the truth.
The king was very happy at his integrity and crowned him the new king. Happily he was married to his eldest daughter.
This small story reminds me of the famous book 'Winners Never Cheat' written by 'Jon M. Huntsman'. A brief excerpt from the book which is very relevant to quote here:
Character is most determined by integrity and courage. Your reputation is how others perceive you. Character is how you act when no one is watching. These traits, or lack thereof, are the foundation of life’s moral decisions. Once dishonesty is introduced, distrust becomes the hallmark of future dealings or associations. The eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson had this in mind: “Without staunch adherence to truth-telling, all confidence in communication would be lost.”