Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Message to the King

In a far-off country there was a countess, and the countess had a maid. And this maid wanted to send a message to the King. But she was a simple woman and did not know how to address so exalted a person. So she went into town to consult the professional scribes.

The first scribe was an older man in an elaborate robe who looked very impressive. "There are certain messages passed down from antiquity, and these are the messages the King hears. These are the ones you should use."

"But what if the traditional messages do not say what I want to say?" she asked.

"There is a wide variety of these messages that cover most circumstances," replied the scribe. "If you really have something to say that is not found there, I suppose you must use your own words. But it is better to use the accepted messages."

The next scribe she met was a young man who was snappily dressed, with an air of excitement about him.  "The King will only hear you if you feel deeply about what you say. You should sing and dance and wave your arms in the air to show you really mean what you are saying. But the best way to speak to the King is in a language you did not previously know."

"But what if I do not happen to feel anything much about what I have to say?" she asked.

"The King will give you a feeling if you ask," said the scribe firmly.

The next scribe was a nondescript middle-aged man with a nice suit and a firm look on his face. "The important thing," stated this scribe, "is that you do not use the established prayers and you do not get emotional."

"But then what am I supposed to do?" she asked.

"As long as you are not using previously written messages or working up feelings, you will be fine," the scribe explained.

So the maid returned to the countess, totally confused, and related to her employer what had happened. "I am told to be emotional and not emotional and to use the traditional messages and not use the traditional messages.  What am I to do?" the maid moaned.

"Might I suggest that you talk to the King like you would to anyone else?" remarked the countess. "If a traditional message best expresses what you want to say, use it; otherwise, use your own words. If the message you want to write makes you excited, then write to reflect that excitement. But write in a way appropriate to the message."

And the maid sent out to compose her message.

No comments:

Post a Comment