A Story of Quotes

by Kevin Erik Wong

April 25, 2004
Dedicated to my Gung Gung, Chuck M. Gin

There once was a young man trying to learn the ways of the world. His parents could see his restlessness as he sat at home and pondered what was there out in the world. The family needed him here to help with the work around their hut. There was wood to be cut, fish to be caught, crops to be harvested, and furniture to be made. The young man's father was a carpenter and was teaching him how to make things out of wood. But the father knew that his son needed to experience the world before he knew what he really wanted to do in life. Finally his father came to him and said "Son I know you want to get out into the world and see it for yourself. Take this single gold coin and spend it how you see fit. The world outside of our home is different. You will run into many kinds of people. Remember son,"We do not see things as they are, but see things as we are."
So learn of the world and think well."

So the young man packed up his favorite journal along with some clothes and food for his travel and set off along the forest path. Along the way he came across a man stretching for his morning run. "Hello," said the young man. "What brings you out here in these woods? " The runner replied "I am off for my morning run for I am so thankful to be here able to run." "Why is that?" asked the young man. The runner replied "Because I have overcome a terrible disease. It was said I would never walk again, but after overcoming many obstacles, I stand and run before you today." "For remember," cried the runner,
"Adversity makes some men break and others break records."
And with that the runner waved goodbye and headed along the path.

As the young man was leaving the forest, he could see a giant ranch house in the distance. As he walked closer he saw flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and all sorts of other farm animals. The young man then came across an injured like calf that had been attacked by wild dogs during the night. So the young man picked up the young calf and started walking towards the ranch house. As he came to the front door, he sat the calf down and knocked on the door. A man in servant's clothes opened the door. "Hello," said the young man. "I found one of your young calves injured in your pastures and brought to you so it can be cared for." "Oh quite gracious of you young master. Please wait while I get the head of this house," and then the servant quickly left. Not more than ten seconds pasted by when an older figure stepped through the front door. "Ah yes, welcome," said the stranger at the door. "My name is Job and this is my ranch estate. Bless your soul for doing the right thing. Please come in." So the servant took the calf to a barn where it would be looked after by Job's other ranch servants while the young man was invited in for a meal with Job.

As they sat and ate lunch, the young man learned of Job's history. "See, not all what I have now was once my own. I have been greatly blessed with what you see. I have more herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, donkeys, and horses than any other person in this land. But you see my lad, I would not need all this to be happy. I am thankful for my health above all things. See, I have learned, that
"The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
After being quite full, the young man thanked Job for his hospitality and continued on this journey.

After walking a few more miles, the young man was slowly coming upon a town. As he entered the town, there was a busy market place. People were trading in commerce, selling goods, and buying food for supper. As he was walking through the market place, he noticed a cart full of boxes was starting to fall over. He rushed over and grabbed one of the falling boxes just as the rest came tumbling down. Just then a man in a business suit came running over. "Oh well, thanks for saving at least one of my boxes," said the man in the suit. "I'm sorry I couldn't stop them from all falling," the young man replied. "Do not worry about it my young friend, it was not your fault," the man in the suit said. Just as the young man was helping pick up everything that had fallen, the single gold coin his parents had given him fell out of his pocket. In an instant, a thief ran and picked it up and ran through the crowd. The young man shouted in distress for he was carrying a box load of goods when he saw what had happened. He put the box down in a hurry and chased after the thief. Five minutes later, the young man came back to the place of the fallen boxes with melancholy upon his face. The man in the business suit was just cleaning up when he asked, "Did you get your coin back?" "No," replied the young man in sadness. "I could not find the thief." The man in the suit motioned to the young man and said, "Come with me."

As they walked through town, the came to a bank. The top of the building said "BANK OF SOLOMON". There they entered and the man in the suit went through a door towards the back of the building. "I own this bank," the man in the suit said. "So here..." and he handed the young man seven gold coins. The young man's eyes were in a state of astonishment. "What you lost, you shall receive seven-fold for your act of kindness towards me," the man in the suit replied. "You must be the richest man on earth!" the young man said in excitement. "Well, that may be so, but there is something you should know first. We must be good towards other people. If you want to have wealth in this world, you should remember this:
"Pray as though everything depended on God, then go work as though everything depended on you."
The young man thanked the man in the suit and headed out of the bank.

At the outer edge of the town there was a harbor. The young man was looking to cross the sea to get to the land of the king. As he asked if anyone was crossing the sea, few said they would. An old man told him to look for a lone woman. So the young man started to search the harbor. Finally the young man came across a woman sitting by a ship. "Excuse me," said the young man. "I was wondering if you could take me across the sea to the land of the king. I have a money if you could take me there." "I have no desire for money, just to find my husband," the woman replied. "What do you seek in your travels?" the woman asked. "I am on a journey for wisdom," the young man replied. "In that case, your reasons sound pure, so I will take you there. I am headed off in that direction as well. I should recommend to you that you visit the university that is there just across the sea before you should go anywhere else. You might find some wisdom there as well," the woman told him. So with that, the woman got into her ship and started to sail across the sea to the land of the king with the young man.

Before they had left, the young man had bought the both of them some supper to bring along their travels. As they sat on the deck of the ship enjoying a pleasant supper, the young man asked the woman about her travels. She told him that she had lost her husband for he was a merchant and had to go on a trip without her. Normally, they traveled together and that this was their ship. Her husband actually named the ship after her for she had done great things for her people the young man would later find out. Ultimately she was hopeful that she would find him again. She knew how to navigate the seas from years of experience and had a smile upon her face. "You know, hope is a good thing," she said. Sometimes I feel lost, but there is some goodness in it all.
"The more lost we are, the more we have to look forward to."
As the morning sun rose on the horizon, the two travelers could see the coastly town. As they docked the ship, the woman told the young man where the university was. He wished her well and waved goodbye. As he turned around one last time he looked at the ship's name where it said "The Esther."

As the young man crossed the portal city and over a hillside, he came across a grand university. As he stepped into the university library, he began looking at the vast array of books. Just then, an older man came to the young man and asked "Is there something which I can help you with?" The young man replied, "Well, I am looking for nothing in particular, just wisdom." "Ah," the older man replied. "Then at least you have come to a good place to start." My name is Nicodemus, I am the headmaster of this place of learning." So over brunch and tea, the young man listened to Nicodemus about academics, of science, books, and philosophy. Nicodemus finally said "Always be in a state of learning. Remember,
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."
Towards the end of their conversation, the older man told him that learning about the world is not as important as sharing your knowledge and wisdom with others. For what good is there if you are the smartest man and the world and do nothing with it? That is why Nicodemus resided here. Nicodemus then sent him to learn about serving others by telling him to visit a magnificent castle where a great king lived. So with that, the young man thanked Nicodemus and went along his way.

Along the path to the enchanted castle, the young man came across a knight escorting some peasants to the king's city. "Welcome," said the knight. "Would you care to join our group, for traveling in numbers is safer around this parts." "That sounds like a great idea," said the young man. As they continued along the path, the young man asked the knight why he was going to see the king. "Actually, I protect travelers making there way to the king. There are many bandits along these roads and the peasants are defenseless for they carry no weapons nor are trained to fight" the knight explained. "A long time ago, before this kingdom was founded, many helpless and poor people would be robbed and murdered while traveling these roads. It seemed that no one cared. But a new king came to power and I followed his lead. He had very strong believes in doing good.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Just then a raiding party of bandits charged towards the group. The knight sprang to life! "Do you know how to fight?!?" he quickly yelled at the young man. "I've practiced with my brothers, but..." It was too late, the knight tossed a sword to the young man and galloped towards the gang of thugs. Not knowing what to do next, the young man acted on instinct and charged with the knight. The group of seven or eight bandits all focused to overtake the knight. It was of little use for he was too well skilled in the arts of warfare for them to win. The young man caught up to the fight and swung his sword. "Clang!!" The young man's sword clashed with a bandit's axe. The young man suddenly lost his footing and tripped. He starting rolling down the hill until he reached the bottom. The man opened his eyes and realized he was staring at the sky with the canopy of trees overhead. Dizzy, from his acrobatic downfall, he slowly got up. He heard horse steps coming his way. "Are you alright?!?" the knight asked with concern. "Yes, I believe so. I think I lost your sword as I was tumbling down...well, you know." "Do not worry about it," the knight said compassionately. "I found your sword as I saw you...well, you know."

After the group of travelers settled down from the excitement, the young man asked the woman next to him what had happened. "Our valiant knight thwarted off all of them single-handily!" she exclaimed. The young man caught up with the knight at the head of the party. He asked him "How did you become so noble and skilled at what you do?" The knight humbly replied "Well, I do not think I am really any of those, but
"The man of tomorrow is forged by his battles today."
I once was a person of wrong doing, but I have seen the light and do good only now to spread the faith. Soon the traveling party came across the magnificent castle. The young man thanked the knight for his hospitality as did the knight thank him in return. "Oh by the way!" the young man yelled from a distance. "What is your name!?" The knight yelled back "People now call me Paul!" as he waved and rode off back down the road.

The young man ventured into the city-castle in awe. He had never seen something as remarkable as this. He stopped a guard who was passing by and asked him a question. "Excuse me, but what is the name of this city?" The guard replied " Well, it does have a noble name, but the king wanted to tone it down to make it more humble I guess. We just call it "The Lot" nowadays." So the young man started wandering around the city. Not too long a royal guard came up to the young man and asked him "Pardon me, but are you the same young man who traveled with Paul today?" "Why, I am one of them," he replied. "Did you help him fight today?" the royal guard asked. "Well, I don't know if I helped him per se but..." "Please come with me," the guard quickly responded. So the young man, now a little nervous, followed the royal guards to the dining hall of king. As he entered a grand dining hall, a royal serviceman led him to the very chair of the king. "Please, please, have a seat my young friend. I am the king of this land. My name is Arthur." Grasping for words the young man said "Tha...Thank you your majesty for having me." As it turned out the king wanted to hear the story about the young man's travels with Paul the great knight. "It is not everyday a man with no military training will charge into a battle to help a stranger he just met," the king said. "I was trying to help and do the right thing," the young man explained. "Ah yes, the right thing," the king said softly. As they talked some more the young man learned how this king was very honorable in his thinking and the way he ruled. "Remember," the king spoke,
"With great power, comes a greater responsibility."
"But do you not look weak in the eyes of your enemies my lord?" the young man asked. "Ah," said the king.
"There is nothing as strong as gentleness, nothing as gentle as true strength."
Their conversation continued into the night. The king and the young man laughed over dinner on how the young man's battle tactics were in need of sharpening, but that would be another day. The king then gave the young man room and board in one of the royal bedroom suites for the night. The next morning the king offered the young man breakfast and told him if he still sought more meaning to life, he should visit the church that was not too far away. So the young man thanked the king for his hospitality and set off for the church.

The young man saw the church from a distance. This was no ordinary church, the young man thought to himself. By the time he reached the entrance, he looked up and could not even see the top of the church. He slowly entered into what he really thought could be a house for God. As he was wandering up and down the hallways a nun approached him. "Is everything okay my dear?" the nun asked with a heartfelt tone. "I am not sure," the young man replied. "There's something missing on my journey." So the young man had a good, long talk with the nun. "Love," she said, "is the greatest thing of all. God's love cannot be measured, but it is something that we all need to practice with dedication and it must come from the heart. She then said,
"Through all our actions, without love, it does not mean a thing."
Just then, I man burst through the church doors. The nun turned immediately and noticed the derangement the man was in. "Excuse me," she said to the young man and went to the man at the door. The nun calmed the man down and the both sat in a pew. The young man himself was not far and could hear what they were saying. The crazed man was now calm and crying softly. His young wife had just passed away while giving birth to his newborn child. The young man heard the husband say, "Forget him, I do not believe in God anymore." To which the nun replied softly,
"You may not believe in God, but He, believes in you..."
The nun would go on to say to the husband that he must be strong and care two people now-- the child as well as himself. He must have the strength for two now. Then a group of family and friends came into the church. They all huddled around the man and prayed. "It will not be easy," the nun said to the husband, "but love will get you through." With that, the group helped the husband out and back to his home. The nun returned to the young man and said "Love will get that man through his toughest days ahead. The love for his newborn child, the love of his lost wife, the love from his family and friends, and most importantly, the love from God above." The young man and the nun then started talked about the important things in life. She talked to him about helping those in need and helping them find God. "Someday, I want to travel across the world and help the children of a distant land who are in need," she told him. She then was called by a fellow nun and she told the young man "God bless in your quest and travels." He thanked Teresa the nun for all her help and sat there thinking in silence. He thought well into the night about all his travels and what he had learned. The next morning, he was awoken by a choir boy. With the gold coins he had left, he went to the front of the church where an offering box was and put them all in except for two gold coins. Two back to my parents he thought. One in return and one to remember what I have learned.

So the young man headed back to his home where his parents lived. Finally, he returned to the forest from which he left. This is where his journey began. As the sun was setting he stopped in front of his home and looked across the lake. He thought for a moment... Just before he opened the door, he pulled out his journal looking at all the wonderful things he had learned and the sayings from the wise people he had met. He stared into the sunset and then wrote down one last thing.
"Although we travel the world in search for the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."

The End