The Empty Pot

September 9, 2003

A Chinese Emperor lay ill and fearing death felt it was time to name his successor.  A lover of gardening, he decided to let the seeds choose the new Emperor.  He called all his grandchildren to his bedside and gave each a seed to grow.  The one to return in the Spring, having tended their plant best, he told them would be named the new Emperor.

One little boy, known among the children as an excellent gardener, could not get his seed to grow.  He tried everything.  He potted and repotting the plant, nurtured the soil, and fastidiously watered the seed, but it would not grow.  When spring came he sadly went to his grandfather's side and set the empty pot before the Emperor, while all of the other children brought huge, beautiful plants.

The Emperor, however, knew the seed would not grow for he had carefully baked each until they were dead.  Only the one boy was honest enough to accept his failure and fate and bring forth the empty pot.  He was rewarded for his honesty by being named the new Emperor.

Our principles determine our values.  You will often hear it said that today we live in a world without either, but that is not true.  Everyone has principles and values, even criminals.  Although Their value system is in stark contrast to yours.  The Scout Law sets forth a foundation of solid moral principles and core values and if you live by the Law you will be guided smoothly down life's turbulent path.

Good night, gentlemen.