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Post No. 17180603
There was once a king who ruled over a very inhospitable land, full of crags, deserts, and swamps. People lived in poverty, barely earning enough to boil a pot of water, and this concerned the king.
The king had three advisers. He had a general, a merchant, and a fool. He asked his general, "How do I help my people?"
The general said, "We need to invade our neighbors and take their land!"
The king did not want to do this, because then people would die, and he did not want people to die.
The king then asked the merchant the same question.
The merchant said, "We should lower taxes so people can save money."
But the king did not want to do this either, because the kingdom's treasury was already scarce, and protecting the kingdom would be impossible with lower taxes.
The king finally asked the fool how to help the people of the kingdom.
The fool exclaimed, "Do nothing!"
The king said, "What of my people, fool?"
The fool said, "Trust in me."
The king was hesitant, but relented to the fool. He did nothing.
Over the next year, the kingdom flourished. Dry rivers ran blue with fresh water. Rain fell for the first time in many years. Mountains delivered bounties of fruits. People became rich, and the treasury had to be renovated to hold all the gold bullion.
The king one day asked the fool, "How did you know by waiting, we would prosper?"
The fool did not look at the king. "I didn't."
The king gasped. "What? You didn't know? You put my people at risk for a guess?"
The fool stared out the castle window. "If I was right, we would have lost no lives in war and save every coin we had."
The king reclined in his throne. "What if you were wrong?"
The fool looked at the king. "We would have all perished, and it wouldn't matter then."
The king did not know whether to hang the fool for his recklessness or praise him for his wisdom. But something else bothered the king.
"Why do anything at all, then?"
The fool smiled and walked away. "Why do you think I am a fool?"