For the Sake of Public Good

The other day while I was walking in my neighborhood, I saw a big plastic case that someone dropped in the middle of the street.

It was moving on the road being blown by the wind. I thought if a car hit it, it will break down in pieces and some parts may hit pedestrians. Or if a car tries to avoid hitting it all of a sudden, it may drift from the lane and cause a car crash.

I could easily see the danger but hesitated to take action when a man across the street entered the road and picked up the case. This experience reminded me of the story from Something You Forgot Along the Way.

If I were in the shoes of the king in this story, I would have to give this man a bag full of gold and jewels. Let’s read the story.

A king once slipped out of his castle in the middle of the night when nobody was looking and laid a great stone in the center of town. In the morning, a drunken soldier tripped over the stone, fell, and hit his head. “Who put this blasted stone here?” he snarled. “I’d like to teach the damn fool a lesson.” Cursing, he went on his way.

Soon a gentleman on horseback came by and just missed running into the stone. He came to a stop and said, “Whew, that was close! I could have been killed. What a dirty trick to play!” Muttering, he trotted on.

After another interval, a farmer came by, pulling his wagon. “What’s this?” he cried. “Somebody put a big stone here. It’s dangerous and blocks the way.” Grumbling, he gave the stone a kick and went on by.

None of them thought to remove the stone.

A month later, the king assembled the people in the town square and admonished them. “I am the one who put the stone here,” he said. “But none of you made any attempt to remove it for the public good. That is a sign that my reign is flawed. Today I will personally remove the stone.”

When he did so, underneath it was a bag marked, “For Whoever Moves the Stone Out of the Way.” It was full of gold and jewels.

Good deeds, even those that go unseen, always bring a reward.

(from Something You Forgaot Along the Way, Do Good Regardless )

Satoshi Hasegawa Missionary, Satoshi’s Book Club

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #28 | 2013, For the Sake of Public Good

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