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How To Carry Your Burden


A monarch of long ago had twin sons. There was some confusion 
about which one was born first. As they grew to young manhood, 
the king sought a fair way to designate one of them as crown 
prince. All who knew the young men thought them equal in 
intelligence, wit, personal charm, health, and physical strength. 
Being a keenly observant king, he thought he detected a trait 
in one which was not shared by the other. 

Calling them to his council chamber one day, he said, "My sons, 
the day will come when one of you must succeed me as king. The 
burdens of sovereignty are very heavy. To find out which of you 
is better able to bear them cheerfully, I am sending you together 
to a far corner of the kingdom. One of my advisors there will 
place equal burdens on your shoulders. My crown will one day go 
to the one who first returns bearing his burden like a king should." 

In a spirit of friendly competition, the brothers set out together. 
Soon they overtook an aged woman struggling under a burden that 
seemed far too heavy for her frail body. One of the boys 
suggested that they stop to help her. The other protested: "We have 
a burden of our own to worry about. Let us be on our way." 

The objector hurried on while the other stayed behind to give aid 
to the aged woman. Along the road, from day to day, he found others 
who also needed help. A blind man took him miles out of his way, 
and a lame man slowed him to a cripple's walk. 

Eventually he did reach his father's advisor, where he secured his 
own burden and started home with it safely on his shoulders. When 
he arrived at the palace, his brother met him at the gate, and 
greeted him with dismay. He said, "I don't understand. I told our 
father the burden was too heavy to carry. However did you do it?" 

The future king replied thoughtfully, "I suppose when I helped 
others carry their burdens, I found the strength to carry my own." 

Author Unknown 


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