A lesson of ego
Please allow me to tell a tale of a beautiful princess and the painful destruction of her remaining petals.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who was loved by many, but not all, for her beauty invoked others to envy her. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, but on the inside she shone as the moon against the long dark of the night.
One fateful night the princess journeyed home from a friends house where she read to the neighbourhood children. On her way she met with a witch who was fair on the outside but rotten within, much like the gift she gave to our princess. The gift was a flower almost as beautiful as the princess herself, but entwined in the petals was an evil magic.
“Fortune favours me at last!” The witch cackled “you have had your last piece of good look fair princess. The flower you hold is now
your destiny, every time some one pays you a compliment, a petal will form. But beware for every time someone pays you an unkindness, a petal shall fall. Should all the petals fall then so will you!” She cackled again before disappearing into the night.
The princess was shook, she took great heed to what the witch proclaimed and vowed to be kinder than before. She listened to her neighbours, she helped them with their chores, she travelled far and wide to spend time with friends and most of all, she thought not for herself, but for everyone else first.
Those who were white of heart and truly cared for the princess had returned her kindness and the flower gained petals, yet petals continued to fall. Eventually the the petals evened out but the poor princess had no time for herself, that is when she met a prince.
The prince was handsome and worked hard, the princess loved him so. At first they were happy but steadily more petals began to fall than were added to the flower. It took too long for the princess to realise the prince was black at heart and throughout the years that had passed he had slowly chipped away at her petals until only a few remained.
On that day a tinker came to town, he had several wares rusty and unusable but his eyes reminded her of a kindness she had never received before. She talked to him and they became firm friends, though they disagreed on many things they found also they agreed on some too. The tinker had a grey heart, not perfect but not unkind, grumpy but generous. She soon found that the attention of the tinker had added petals on her flower and she began to feel better about herself.
But the prince continued to berate the princess, it grew worse with each passing day. She found herself going to the tinker each evening as he made her feel good about herself, and was always ready with a compliment to lift her spirits.
The princess continued her good deeds, continued to go to the tinker for conversation but still the petals fell. The princess, in an effort of self-preservation, finally told the prince to leave and never return. The prince cried his tears and left but the damage was done and the princess would always be a little broken.
The tinker was there to comfort the princess and they soon fell in love, he did what he could to patch the broken pieces and they quickly built a happy life together. With thanks to the tinker who could truly see her inner beauty, the flower finally has more petals than ever before.
But this is not a happy story, for there was still those who envied the princess and saw only darkness where there was an abundance of light. Despite the best efforts of the tinker the comments and unkindness multiplied.
The worst of it all was the final few petals fell at the hands of close family and friends, criticism and arrogance swarmed the sea that lay above the bed of compliments that the tinker had laid.
Please, it’s not enough to just not criticise someone, let them know what they mean to you, let them know they’re doing a good job. Their petals might be falling.