WISDOM OF THE SAGE (KING ARTHUR AND THE WITCH)



Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. 

The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. 

So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. 


Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.
The question? What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. 

But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to question everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. 

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer. 

But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first. 

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend! Young Arthur was horrified. 
She was hunchbacked and frightening, had only one tooth, stank like a refuse dump site, and she made scary noises. 
He had never encountered such a disgusting creature in all his life.
He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur. He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.
Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus: What a woman really wants, she answered, is to be in charge of her own life; Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared. And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.
The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. 

But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. 
The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half. Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day or night?
Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

The Noble Lancelot said that he would allow her to make the choice herself. 

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

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THE VIAL AND THE PITCHER

When I was 18 I met a man who, in one conversation, set forth a series of events that changed me forever, and whose one advice still changes me today.

A caucasian man in his early 30’s working as a Major in the army— he was a medical doctor, tall, incredibly good looking with a chiseled jaw line, smart, charming, and had a great sense of humour.

Alex was a man I thought had everything.

I really admired him.

18 year old me was a nervous awkward kid whose only claim to fame was being able to play chess decently and running a meetup group ~3,000 strong.

I would watch Alex every time he entered the office and noticed how he charmed everyone and carried himself with charisma.

It helped that he was humble too— he worked worked long, hard hours and never put himself above anyone else— even the contractors who came to clean the office.

Alex was a unique man who radiated life.

He grew up in the states with a Singaporean passport and upon turning 18, was called back to serve the nation’s army.

Back in the states, his family had fallen apart; leaving him homeless.

Joining the army literally gave him a home to sleep in and inadvertently saved his life.

Seeing no future for himself, Alex signed on to the army.

As he would put it, “I gave up all hope for a better future for myself.”

Within his first year of joining he applied to medical school at the National University of Singapore, and to his surprise, was accepted.

He called it his Hogwarts letter- he never thought he’d get in, and he was certain his future was done for.

The army offered to pay for him to attend medical school in exchange for him signing over several years of his life after graduation to them.

He’d get a medical degree and they would get an in-house doctor.

He happily took the offer.

He was so happy with it that after his bond finished, he signed on again for several years more.

Everyday since the age of 18 had been a gift to him, and a way to escape his abusive past.

If there had been a happier man or woman in our camp I did not have the chance to meet them.

One day I was on duty to close the office and Alex was the last man in working late. I saw my chance to talk to him and seized it.

I walked up to his desk and called his name nervously, to which he responded by kindly gesturing for me to sit across for him.

I asked him how to become “just like him”.

I wanted to be confident, well read, and full of life too. I told him

Alex put away the keyboard he was furiously typing at, looked at me, and smiled.

Looking back, this was a chance for him to finally be able to help someone as lost as he was many years ago. He truly was, and is, a kind man.

Alex took out a pen and paper and begin drawing.

He draw a small vial, and a pitcher.

He drew a wavey line across the pitcher to indicate it was full while drawing a line at the bottom of the vial to show that it was almost empty.

I’ll never forget what he told me because it changed me entirely:

“This vial is you— you’ve got a little life,

If you want to be full of life, it needs to fill up.”

He circled the pitcher now

“Every time you interact with someone, the pitcher of life drips into your vial and fills it up. The more people you interact with, the more your vial fills up until one day you’re full of life too.

If you want to be full of life, you need to talk to as many people as you can and learn as much as you can about them.”

The days that followed from that conversation with Alex consisted of me running around trying to talk to as many interesting people as I could so I could fill up my vial.

These days turned into weeks, then into months, and now into many years.

Alex was right. Talking to people does fill my vial up- the things they’ve done and the thoughts people have are fascinating. It’s led me to become an amazing salesman and excellent public speaker— even without proper training in either field.

It snowballed into me eventually joining PE, and also into meeting incredible individuals around the world.

If there’s only one thing I can advice any 18 year old, it’s to fill up your vial. You’ll surprise yourself at how much you’ll change as a result of the perspectives you take in.

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HOW PARENTS AFFECT THEIR CHILDREN NEGATIVELY

You're so fat that you embarrass the entire family when we go out!”

My mom whispered into my ear as she pulled me aside, in the middle of a dinner out with the entire family. Tugging on my right hand, she slammed the lavatory door.

Her left hand pinching onto my chubby cheeks with a disapproving look, she said:

“You're 134. One, three four lb.”

Slowly emphasizing the one, three and four as her words rolled off her tongue.

“You're too fat for anyone's comfort!”

Spat mercilessly, bullet like spit lands on the tip of my nose. I hung my head low. My mom then storms out of the toilet, leaving me in the cold, toilet.

I was 10, a few days from turning 11.

No cakes, sweet drinks or anything for you, Chloe!

I told myself as I watched my cousins chow away my Oreo cake. Ice cream soda fizzled down everyone's throat, other than the birthday girl's.

I looked at my reflection every night. Fats, unhealthily drooped off my elbows. A double chin, thick bulky legs.

I counted off the calories as I ripped off the Oreo packet. Just 1 piece to survive the day. I promised myself. For the rest of the day, I just drowned my stomach with gallons of water.

Within 6 months, I've dropped to 120lb. My mom's face nearly fell off as she saw me wearing her old, childhood dress. I felt, a little normal. Bugging peace, should I say.

Soon, it fell to 115.

110.

105.

100.

90.

80.

72.

It stopped at 72.

I looked at myself, at 13. Bone, slightly yellowed skin. I was exactly 4 feet, 8 inches. I could not recognize myself. From the once fat, overweight sweaty girl, to this mess of skeletons.

Everyone starts to notice me. Friends. Boys. Girls. Teachers. Yeah, teachers. Seeing them peer over their shoulder as I stuff more fruits into my mouth.

Guilty, should I say. Maybe I was a coward. I didn't want anyone to find out what I was doing. It was wrong, I know. Maybe the cowardness in me came out.

I started eating. Not by choice, but by force and paranoia. Afraid that everyone would find out that I starved myself for years. It started small. 3 packs mints, with my daily dose of veggies and uncountable amount of fruits.

2 pieces of spicy chicken. Only 2, I was scared that I would gain too much. It evolved to a plastic bag full of meat. I ate less of fruits and veggies, though I still eat them.

Everytime I step on the scale, I keep seeing the numbers rise. Fear rises within me.

What if I shoot pass 80?

85. I choked, silently as I fell asleep crying.

88. I crawled out of bed, and into the toilet. Trying to vomit out last night's chicken. Nothing came out.

90. I gasped, before pushing the scale under the sink.

100. Okay, it's fine. I told myself.

103. Calm down, nothing can go wr-

My weight took a dip at the start of the year. After an ex had called me a fat pig over a phonecall, and told another “friend” of mine that I was fatter than [insert another friend's name]. Basically, comparing me to another girl. That did wonders, to my already fucked up brain.

I started starving myself in April. I almost dropped to the 70s range, standing at a mere 81lb. I somehow, miraculously bounced back from my terrible eating habits by June.

Currently, I'm at 99lb. Not the best, but still better than 2016. Admittedly, I do have my good and bad days.

Good, as in I eat normal 3 meals. Fruits, yogurt, meat and veggies. Oh, and not forgetting rice (yuck, still).

Bad, as in surviving on 8 big bottles of water for 3 days before throwing up in the sink. If it wasn't that bad, I would shove more fruits and water.

Maybe those comments started the 3 years of hell I had put myself in.

Maybe, it's the last straw. The last comment before shit happens.

Whatever it was, I know that the comments did affect me for 3 years. It's like a long, non-stopping rollercoaster which I must get off, hopefully soon.

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HOW TO GET THROUGH TOUGH TIMES


Third year of my University

A friend proposed his love to a girl in my class.

She said no.

He did not stop. He tried again. He used various methods. Greeting cards, gifts, letters etc.

She said no.

I could observe that he was getting increasingly frustrated about her refusing to accept him.

I was, of course, one of the many people who advised him to accept the fact that no one could convince her to accept him.

He would not listen.

His behavior started changing. His attendance drooped. He became unusually silent. He would cry inconsolably at times.

But the girl seemed impervious to whatever that was happening to him.

One time, during the lunch break, a few classmates, he and I were having a random chat.

He appeared calm during the conversation.

He smiled a bit, gave a huge sigh of discontent, got up from the chair, kept his phone on the desk, walked toward the window, looked back at us, and jumped out of the window.

We were on the second floor.

Horror-struck, everyone ran to the ground. I did not. I was not ready to see whatever that would be on the ground.

Petrified, I took his phone, stuttered to window and looked down, hesitantly. Scores of people had already gathered there.

I could see a motionless man down there. Some were watching the commotion from a distance. Some were seen crying. Security guards were rushing in. Some were helping to check his pulse. A few looked up to see me. They gestured for me to run down.

As I was turning away from the window, I gave a final, close look at my friend.

He was alive.

The ambulance took him to a hospital nearby. The University management summoned me. I was inquired. So were a few others.

They were about to call his family to inform the news. I told them not to.

They didn’t know his family. I did.

The father was a fruit-seller and mom, a maid. I knew them personally. I knew how emotionally vulnerable they were. I chose to break the news to them.

It initially appeared to be a grave situation, but I learned from a nurse that it was not even close to fatal.

Just a few fractures.

But breaking the news to his parents was not easy.

When I told them the news, the mother collapsed. The dad was helpless, stuck between wailing and comforting the mother.

I took them to the hospital.

When they saw him, they screamed at the top of their lungs. Everyone in the ward rushed to see what was wrong.

I comforted the parents and made them sit in a place near the room where my friend was placed.

With another friend, I entered to check on him. We stood calmly near him. He could open his eyes.

The following conversation happened between us:

He asked me: “Mapla(dude) I am scared. Will I be able to jerk off?”

Another friend replied emphatically: “Hey! Seriously! You should try. There might be a short-circuit somewhere! LOL”

We three were erupting in laughter when the nurse barged in. She ordered us to leave the room.

We obeyed. We walked out and went to the mom and dad. “Will he survive, Ben?” asked the mom, holding my hands.

“He is rocking, not surviving,” I said, with a smile, comforting her.

I knew in my heart what I meant by rocking. [Check the verb form of rock]

Some times, when you wade through rough waters, all you need is to gratify yourself with what you have- literally and otherwise.

And you need good friends.

Earn good friends. Gratify yourself. Tough times will float away.

Edit: We did not advise him about suicides and other things, honestly. Maybe, we were not mature enough. We just laughed it away. Mistake.


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