I want to share with you a story about appreciation and gratitude.
Once there was a king who had grown very bored and disenchanted with life. He went from one meaningless and stagnant day after another, finding no satisfaction or pleasure in anything. He had even lost his taste for food, and all his traditional exotic dishes no longer yielded the joys they had before. He grew so tired and apathetic that he issued a proclamation that whoever could bring him a dish that truly pleased him would be richly rewarded.
The greatest cooks came from all over the world bringing their best dishes to be tasted by the king. But the king found not one of them pleasing. Life continued to be one boring dish after another.
One day a poor farmer came to the palace to seek an audience with the king. When the farmer was finally called to appear, he said, “Your Majesty, I have the most incredible dish you’ve ever tasted. On this earth, there is no other that can match it, but this special dish takes some very special preparation, and in order for you to fully enjoy it, I must ask that you eat nothing else until it is ready.” The king didn’t know what to make of this offer, but he was so bored with his food he was willing to take a chance. The king replied, “All right, farmer, I accept your offer, but your dish had better please me for all this inconvenience.” So the farmer left to prepare his dish, saying, “It will, Your Majesty, it most surely will.”
The next day the farmer arrived empty-handed in the king’s hall. The king quickly asked, “Well, farmer, where is my food?”
“I’m sorry Your Majesty. It will be ready soon, I promise, but you must still keep our bargain.”
The next day the farmer again returned empty handed. This time the king was furious. “Where is my food?” the king screamed. The farmer replied, his head bowed low, “Oh, Your Majesty, I’m still preparing.
“Still preparing?!” the king retorted. “I’m starving and you’re still preparing?”
“I assure you this is the most fabulous food you’ve ever tasted,” the farmer pleaded. “If you’ll only wait one more day, it will be ready.”
It was going on three days and the king still hadn’t eaten. Although he was angry and hungry, he was so anxious to relieve his boredom he decided to go one more day. “All right,” the king agreed. “One more day.”
The next day the king awoke very early, his whole body filled with anticipation. He could think of nothing but the farmer’s mysterious dish. When the time came near for the farmer to arrive, it was all he could do to contain his excitement.
Finally, from beyond his hall the king heard the light footsteps of the farmer entering. His nose reached out and picked up the most divine of smells. His whole body reverberated with incredible sensations of pleasure and delight. As the farmer drew near, the king could feel his mouth salivating and his stomach grumbling as his entire attention was focused on the farmer’s simple porcelain bowl and its precious cargo.
The farmer lifted the lid to expose one thick slice of steamed cabbage, steamed perfectly. It was the most simple of dishes, but at this moment, that cabbage was as precious as the world to the king.
As the king bit into this pure, plain, and simple cabbage, nothing in his life had ever tasted so good. His senses came alive, as he felt once again the intense pleasure of taste, and smell, and texture. The king was so overjoyed he made the poor farmer a rich man.
When our senses become over-saturated, we lose all appreciation. Sometimes we need to change our environment, change our experience so that we can learn to appreciate what we have in our lives.
How are you doing in your life? This is not just about food, but about everything we have in our lives. Today, try to experience each moment in your life with joy and love. Don’t take anyone or anything, not even your food, for granted!
I look forward to hearing about your experience if you want to share it with me!