This Minute is meant for Boy Scouts.
The emperor was old and dying. He had no children of his own so he called all the children in the surrounding villages to the castle.
He said, "It has come time for me to choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One seed. It is a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring to me, and the one I choose will be the next emperor of the kingdom!"
One boy named Ling, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole story. She helped him get a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing.
By now others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go, and to take his pot as his emperor had told him. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.
When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other youths. They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try."
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. After looking over all the pots in the room, the emperor said, "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown. Today, one of you will become emperor!"
"But, first, I see one pot has no plant. Whoever owns that pot, bring it here to the front immediately!"
Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" But, being brave, Ling picked up his pot and approached the emperor.
When Ling got to the front, the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grown, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"
- If you plant honesty, you reap trust.
- If you plant goodness, you reap friends.
- If you plant humility, you reap greatness.
- If you plant perseverance, you reap victory.
- If you plant faith, you reap miracles.
Be careful what you plant today. It will determine what you will reap tomorrow. The seeds you scatter will make life worse or better - your life or the ones who will come after.