A king gave his wise men a challenge. “Create a ring that will make me happy when I am sad.”
The wise men succeeded. It was a plain ring with an inscription etched into the metal. It read, “This too shall pass.”
During times of hardship, the king would notice the inscription. It would remind him that hardships always pass, even when things seem hopeless. He would stop worrying and appreciate life rather than spending all his energy trying to fix problems.
But of course, the ring had an opposing effect as well. Whenever he felt jubilant, the ring reminded him that joyful circumstances change as well. Nothing lasts forever.
I used to hate this kind of story. It left me feeling empty. It drained my energy. Trying hard seems pointless if nothing lasts.
But today, I am a wiser man. If I was appointed to the King’s council of advisers, this is what I would tell him.