Long ago, a king ruled a far away land. Although he ruled his kingdom well, he felt that his citizens had become lazy. He wanted to test this. So, one day, he had a boulder placed on an arterial roadway that connected the palace to the marketplace. He then hid behind a huge banyan tree by the road and watched to see if anyone removed the rock.
Time passed by. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by. Although they saw the rock as a barrier on their way, they found a way around it and walked past it. An impatient few returned, blaming their luck for having encountered the rock and a few others loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear. None did anything about getting the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant lay down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. He requested other passers-by to give him a hand, but all of them mockingly smiled at his ‘foolish’ attempt and walked away.
After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
The citizens learnt a lesson – every obstacle is truly an opportunity to improve ourselves. Rather than whining about it or distancing yourselves from it, face it with optimism and overcome it. The very experience will make you a stronger person.