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."
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."