Stories always have a lot to teach us. We may be familiar with the story of a king who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content. One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked.
This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy. The King asked the servant, “Why are you so happy?”
The man replied, “Your Majesty, I am a mere servant, but my family and I don’t require much – just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies. We’re content with that.”
The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King’s woes and the servant’s story, the advisor said, “Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of the 99 Club.”
“The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?” the King inquired.
The advisor replied, “Your Majesty, you shall see if you place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep.”
The curious king had it done. When the servant saw the bag lying at the door, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy… So many gold coins!
He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, “What could’ve happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!”
He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection.
From that day, the servant’s life changed. He became overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked.
Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King became more curious. He summoned his advisor who explained: “Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.”
He continued, “There are those people who have enough to be happy but are never contented, because they’re always yearning and striving for that extra coin. They keep telling themselves: “Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life. And this goes on and on..”
We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we’re given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose sleep, happiness and we hurt the people around us who care; all these as a price for our growing needs and desires. Then we’ve joined the 99 club!
This story is familiar. We hear such stories but forget the lessons it has to teach us. The fact is we never learn to count our blessings but look at what we don’t have be it in the area of wealth, relationships or even health. This kind of discontentment does make us dissatisfied with life itself which is why ‘our’ world and by extension ‘the’ world seems a horrible place to be in. On the other hand, if we count our blessings, our perspective changes and the world correspondingly seems an amazing place to be in.