"The Circle of 99" – Jorge Bucay
Once upon a time, there was a big king, powerful and immensely rich but also very unhappy. This sad king had a very happy servant. The servant was bubbly, smiley and he was always singing happily. The king became impatient with his happiness and asked him: – Why are you always so happy?
- Well, you treat me right, I make ends meet enough to feed my family & myself, even a little bit more, I have a beautiful wife & healthy kids. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I’m just happy.
Of course the king was not satisfied with his answer and called the wise man from his Kingdom to help him solve the mystery.
The wise consultant said – It’s because he is outside the circle of 99 while you’re inside.
-What are you talking about? What is the circle of 99? – The puzzled king asked
- Are you willing to lose some golden coins to find out? – The wise man suggested to which the king answered positively
- Prepare for tomorrow a sac with 99 golden coins and at night we will go to the servant’s house – Said the wise man
When it was night, the wise man and the king went secretly to the servant’s house, knocking on the door they left the sac with the coins and a note that said: “This money is yours. It’s your prize for being such a good man. Enjoy!”
When the servant found the sac, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He was over the moon. He was laughing and singing and thanking God for his good fortune. He then started counting the money by making piles of 10 coins till he realized a pile had only 9 coins. There were 99 golden coins. “There is one missing, there should be 100”- he thought. He searched all around the house for hours, couldn’t find anything. He was sure that someone took his one coin and he started swearing and cursing. He began to think how he could gain one golden coin. He thought “with 100 coins I can say that I’m rich, I will not have to work, I will be important and respected in the kingdom”. He did some calculations and realized that he needed 10 years in order to earn one more golden coin, “10 years, that’s too much” – he thought – Perhaps my wife can help me by selling in the market on weekends, even depriving from certain things, perhaps in 4 or 5 years I will make it. He got a second job, he was eating only a piece of bread every day and he stopped burning wood to keep warm so he was sleeping in a cold room every night with hardly anything to wear and starving.
In few days, the tired and haggard servant serving the King when the latter asked– What’s wrong servant? Why are you not smiling and singing like before?
- Sir, I do my duty as I should. You pay me to do my job, I don’t need to give you explanations for my behavior or frame of mind – The upset servant replied.
The king laid off the servant for being insolent and understood perfectly this was how he entered the circle of 99. He stopped being happy.
99 coins are the 100% of our treasure. Nothing is missing, no one stole anything, 100 is not as round as 99 is. It’s just a trap, a carrot they swing in front of us, to make us stupid enough to keep moving tired, unhappy and compromised. A trap so that we never stop to push so that everything remains the same. Things can change only if we become able to enjoy our treasures as they are.
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I heard this story 2 years ago, but I got angry at the people who shared it. They didn’t get it. There was always something missing in their lives. Maybe I got angry because I was too much into “Into The Wild” then, and I couldn’t make them see what THEY ARE SHARING. They didn’t understand the lesson from it, continued to be needy, greedy and complaining over small things and excited over fantasies. That’s the main reason I’m sharing it now. It’s like it went through their heads and ran away.