A king figures that if he always knew the answer to three questions, he would always be successful.
He sets out to find the answer to those three questions by asking many learned men in the kingdom.
When he arrives the hermit is busy digging in the ground. The king asks his questions, but the hermit doesn’t answer. The king offers to dig for a while to give the hermit a break.
The questions are: •What is the right time to do something? •Who are the most necessary people to listen to? •How will he know the most important thing to be doing?
Just then another person comes up to the house. The man is injured and bleeding.
Each man gives different opinions to answer the questions. The king decides none of them are correct and goes to see a wise hermit living in the woods.
The injured man wakes and admits he was planning on killing the king, but when the king never came back down the road, he came out of his hiding spot and the king’s guards attacked him.
After a while the king asks his questions again; still the hermit does not answer. The king continues digging for the hermit. Finally at sunset the king asks again and says he will leave if he doesn’t get an answer.
The king then goes to the hermit and, one final time, asks his three questions. The hermit’s response is, “You have already been answered!”
The most important time is now—the moment you are in--because it is the only time that you can control.
The most important people are who you are with because you never know when you may have to deal with anyone else.
The king tends to the man’s wounds and he and the hermit help the man in the house to sleep. Since it is very late now and the king is tired from his work, he stays at the hermit’s as well.
If the king hadn’t helped treat the man’s wounds, he would have died. For saving his life, the man offers to serve the king faithfully. The king gladly accepts.
The King has learned a valuable life lesson in the answers to his three questions.
The most important task is doing good to/for whomever you are with.