King Hudson sat atop a throne in the high palace over the grey city of Ledidbi. A day had gone by since he commanded the Ledidbi people to follow the New Rules, a set of orders designed to bring joy to all who follow them, yet the king found himself disturbed and restless. No one in the city was obeying the New Rules. Hudson thought they were ungrateful to ignore his gift, to ignore their king’s official commandments. He was a kind leader from the beginning, and they all liked him very much, and he could have been harsher on his people in many instances. He could punish them for ignoring the rules (they were meant to help!) if he wanted to, but he would not because he did not operate by instilling fear. Hudson tried to lead in a way that made his people want to listen to him. Ledidbi ignored the New Rules, though, and a storm of anxious thoughts gripped Hudson's mind like a firm set of hands squeezing tighter the more he tried to escape. In his stomach he felt a flutter of fear float up to his chest.
Here were the New Rules, which King Hudson had posted throughout Ledidbi:
I REQUIRE YOU TO FOLLOW THESE RULES WHICH WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY AND HEALTHY.
Define Your Service.
I don’t care who or what you serve, but you must serve something. You may call this something “God” if you'd like.
Surrender all fears to God (or whatever you'd like to call it).
Do what you must without entertaining thoughts that interfere with you doing what you must.
Make a list of qualities that are important to you. Move toward embodying these qualities.
The gap between your desired behavior and your behavior is a great source of mental turmoil.
4. Don't make decisions based on fear.
5. Seek to understand yourself and serve those around you. Shine bright.
A king’s hand alerted Hudson that a wise traveler passing through Ledidbi saw the New Rules and wished to speak with him. Hudson, the kind ruler, desperate to fix his people, invited the traveler up to his palace to speak.
The traveler, cloaked in rags, face hidden by knotted hair, approached the tormented king before his throne.
King Hudson looked down upon her and said, “Wise traveler, have you any thoughts about why my people refuse to obey my orders? I only wish to gift them joy.”
And the wise traveler looked up at him. She said, “Your majesty, King Hudson of Ledidbi, you have no power.”
King Hudson furrowed his brow and leaned toward her. “Wise traveler, I fear your words have proven true. I fear I have lost my power over the people of Ledidbi.”
And the wise traveler answered, “Your majesty, King Hudson of Ledidbi, you never had power. Surrender to the wishes of your people.”
And she handed King Hudson a piece of paper on which she had written:
I WOULD LIKE YOU TO DO THE FOLLOWING, WHICH WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY AND HEALTHY.
What followed were the same rules.