Many, many years ago there lived a rich and powerful king. He was the most dominant ruler in all of the land, and he was faithfully attended by his personal servant, Mono. Mono was an exceptional servant. Earning his service to the king by accomplishing every task assigned to him. This made Mono a very arrogant man. He believed that he could do anything so long as he applied himself in his duties. The king knew Mono was arrogant, and it amused him to play a small prank on his servant.
The entire kingdom was readying for the harvest festival, the biggest festival of the year. Mono was diligently preparing the royal celebrations when the king called him into the throne room. Mono rushed to the side of his king and the king commanded,
“Mono, my faithful servant, in all of your years of service you have never failed to do anything I command. So I command you to find a magical ring that makes a sad man happy and a happy man sad. I must have this ring in my possession before the harvest festival begins.”
Mono accepted the assignment with confidence, but the king was laughing to himself because no such ring existed. The king wanted to humble Mono by searching for a ring that he could not find.
So Mono went out of the palace and into the city searching every jeweler and questioning every ring-maker. All the salesman professed no knowledge of a magic ring with the power to make a sad man happy and a happy man sad. Undeterred, Mono left the city and traveled to the surrounding villages, but no matter where he looked the ring could not be found.
He searched for the next three months to no avail. Before Mono knew it, it was the night before the harvest festival and he made no progress in finding the magic ring. At a loss, Mono wandered into the poor district on the outskirts of the city. He walked down the streets aimlessly, wondering how his king could forgive him for failing his command. In deep though, Mono barely noticed the old man that walked in front of his path.
The two men collided and fell to the ground. Mono cursed under his breath and helped the old man up while apologizing for running into him, since he was troubled by difficult thoughts. The old man asked if he could help Mono calm his mind. Mono replied,
“The king commanded me to find a magic ring that makes a sad man happy and a happy man sad. I have searched over the entire kingdom these last three months and I have no idea where this ring could be. I must now go before the king and tell him I failed.”
The old man chuckled and said,
“A ring that does that would be magical indeed. Fortune made you run into me this night, for I know of such a ring.”
Mono was stunned and asked where the ring could be found. The old man sat down, grabbed a small piece of wood and a carving knife and began cutting the wood into the shape of a ring. When the ring was finished, the old man carved a small inscription on the outside of the ring and handed it to Mono.
Mono looked at the ring dubiously, wondering if he had been duped by a silly old man. Then he read the inscription and his face lit up in understanding. This was the magical ring his king commanded him to find! He excitedly thanked the old man and raced back to the palace. Hoping to be there in time for the opening ceremonies of the festival.
The king was preparing for the start of the festival, but his faithful servant Mono was nowhere to be found. The king chuckled, thinking to himself that Mono would finally be humbled by not finishing a task commanded to him. Then all of a sudden, the throne room doors burst open and Mono ran to the king’s side.
“My Liege, I found the magical ring that makes a sad man happy and a happy man sad!”
The king was stunned speechless. Mono handed the open-mouthed king the ring and told him to read the inscription. The king peered at the simple wooden ring and saw the carved words: This Too Shall Pass. Suddenly, the king became very sad. Because after reading those words he realized all of his power and riches would one day be gone.
This Too Shall Pass. It is a simple phrase that can humble a person during a moment of pride, or help a person through the depths of torment.
I want every player to sear those four words into their brains. Every win will pass. Every tie will pass. Every loss will pass. Do not allow an undefeated season make you prideful, and do not allow a devastating loss to consume your life. Anytime you feel too happy about a win or too sad about a loss, remember that everything passes with time.
The greatest lesson in youth sports is that winning and losing do not matter. What matters is the fight you give during those wins and losses.
If you want more information on winning, tying, and losing, check out these posts:
Featured Image Credit – www.tuborg.deviantart.com