The story of the king who was looking for his happiness

Long time ago, there lived a king who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, wasn’t either happy nor at peace. One day, he met a servant who sang happily while he worked. The king became curious and asked himself why he, the supreme ruler of the region was unhappy and moody, while this humble servant had so much joy.

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The king asked the servant, “Why are you so happy?” The man answered, “Your majesty, I am nothing else but a servant, and my family and I don’t need much except a roof above our heads and a warm meal to fill our stomachs.” The king wasn’t entirely satisfied with this answer. Later during the same day he asked for the advice of his trusted counsellor. After the counselor had listened to his king’s problem and to ha story with the servant, he replied, “Majesty, I think the servant is not a member of club 99.” “Club 99? What on earth is that?” asked the king. The counsellor replied, “Majesty, to understand what Club 99 means, place 99 good coins in a bag, and leave them at the doorstep of this servant.”

When the servant saw the bag, he took it inside his house. When he opened it, a loud shout of joy was heard from his house. So many gold coins! He started counting them, and, after counting them many times, he managed to believe he had exactly 99 coins. But a question started bothering him: what must have happened to the last gold coin? For sure, nobody would give 99 coins as a gift instead of 100! He looked everywhere, but the last coin was missing.

Finally, exhausted, he decided he had to work harder than ever to earn that last gold coin and round up the sum he had received. From that very day, the servant’s life changed: he worked relentlessly, he became an angry person, and he never stopped criticizing his family for not helping him to earn hat gold coin. Also, he entirely stopped singing while he worked. Witness to this radical transformation, the king became more and more puzzled.

Because the king couldn’t comprehend what happened to the servant, he turned to his counselor again to find an answer. This one said: “Majesty, now he has become a member of Club 99. Club 99 is a generic term for those people who have enough to be happy, but they are never content, because they always strive for more, and they always fight for just one more thing, saying to themselves, “I only have to achieve this one more goal to be happy for the rest of my life.” Our life can be happy if we own very little, but the moment we receive something bigger and better, we start desiring more. We lose our sleep and our happiness, and we hurt people around us. This is the price we have to give in exchange for our ever increasing needs and wishes.

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