Long ago, in the sunny village of Scranton, PA, there were three friends, Adam, Ben, and Cody. They were in their mid twenties, and were fairly handsome. The only notable difference between the three was that Cody was by far more humble and kind than Adam and Ben combined. They were very poor and could not afford to live in big fancy houses, instead they each built a cottage near the woods, close to each other. To make a living, each of the friends had to go down to the village every day and work so they could earn money to buy their food and any other necessities. The three of them were street vendors, but they all sold different things; Adam sold shoes, Ben sold clothes, and Cody sold handmade furniture. Although their stores gave them enough money to be able to eat every day, none of them were satisfied with how much money they had. They tried every day to look for new jobs that would make them wealthier, but no one wanted to hire them. They even tried to switch jobs with each other in the hopes that maybe one of them would have better luck in their new stores but just like always, they did not succeed.
One day, the three friends were on their way back home from an unsuccessful day of work, talking about their terrible luck. “I feel it’s useless to keep trying to get new jobs, it’s just tiresome and time consuming, don’t you think?” Adam said to his friends. Ben nodded at him in agreement while Cody shook his head and replied “It doesn’t matter how long it takes us to find a better job, as long as we keep trying and don’t give up.” Although Adam and Ben did not agree with Cody, they let the subject go and kept walking. After a while of walking, they saw an old man dressed in long brown rags and shoes with holes on them. He also had a worn-out cane, which he seemed to only have as decoration, for he could walk perfectly fine, even with his slight limp. The old man approached them and said, “Young men, as you can see I am very old and worn out, I ask of you some sympathy and a space in your home for a few days while I regain my strength.” Adam and Ben were quick to give the old man reasons as to why they couldn’t help him, they said that they were not going to spend the little money they earned on a stranger. Cody on the other hand said “Although I don’t have much to give you, I offer you my food and a place in my home if you’d like.” The old man, surprised that Cody wanted to help him, accepted his offer to live with him while Adam and Cody hurried to their houses as to avoid the old man.
The old man had been living with Cody for about three weeks now, he shared his house, his food, and his time with the old man. Meanwhile, Adam and Ben laughed at Cody and called him a fool for letting the old man stay with him when he clearly did not have enough for the both of them. One day, as the friends got back from work, they were surprised to see that the old man was no longer in Cody’s house. In his place was a man with clothes that looked like they were made for royalty, and the shiniest shoes that any of them had ever seen. He also held in his hand a scepter which emphasized his regal appearance. Although the guy standing in front of him looked rich and younger, Cody could tell that it was the old man. Before any of them could say a word, the man said “As you all can see, I am not an old peasant who needed your hospitality, I’m actually the ruler of the village next to yours. I have been looking for the person to take my place as ruler but since I couldn’t find anyone worthy enough, I decided to come to your village. Cody, while Adam and Ben blatantly refused to help me, you offered me what little food you had and showed me how humble and caring you are. And for that I’d like to repay you.” Cody looked dazed as the man continued, “I offer you my house as you offered me yours, and you’ll never have to worry another day about not having enough money or food to eat. As for your friends, even though they made no effort to help me, since you are very close to them I can offer them jobs as helpers around the house but no more.”
Cody saw that the proposal benefitted all three of them and accepted. He hoped that this would also help his friends understand that you should help people as much as you can because you never know if you’ll be in their situation some day.
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