|Once there was a young man who inherited three treasures from his father-three treasures in three locked chests.
The first chest was large and very heavy. It was marked "TALENTS", and it was filled with gold and platinum and eletrum coins, a fortune that could buy him the world.
The second chest was larger and heavier still. It was marked "COMPASSION", and it was filled with countless magic rings. Each ring let the wearer feel the emotions of one person or creature in the world.
The third chest was the largest and the heaviest of all. It was marked "HONOR", and what it held not even the young man knew.
You see, the young man had two keys, one for the box marked "TALENTS", and the other for the box marked "COMPASSION". But his father had not given him a key to the box marked "HONOR". His father had said that talents were meant to be used, and compassion was something meant always to be at hand and available in plenty. But honor was a thing to easily squanderd. To have it, the young man must find his own key to open the box.
The young man took the large, heavy chest of talents and carfully, wisely spent it. For each talent he spent, he received tittle to a man's parcel of land. In so doing, he came to possess the world.
Then the young man took the larger, heavier chest of compassion. One at a time, he placed each ring upon his finger so he could understand the hopes and fears of all the people and creatures in his world. When he was done, he loved them all, and became a great ruller, a champion of justice.
He went out into his world, then taking the final box with him and seaching for a key to open it. Wherever he went, he commanded his people to bring every key they had and to try each in the lock. Many people offered to break the box open for him, but the young man refused, for violence could not be the key to honor. In ten years, he crossed the whole world but did not find the key to honor.
He thought, they are hiding it from me. I will find it yet. He went out into his world again, this time taking also his chest of compassion. When his people brought to him more keys, he found a ring for each person and slipped it on his finger, searching their hearts to see if they hid a special key from him. Many offered again to break the box open, but aging man refused. In twenty years, he crossed his whole world twice but did not find the key to honor.
He thought, I own the world, and I own the hearts of all who dwell in it, and still I cannot find the key to honor? How can a man with no honor rule a world and all it's hearts?
So he went out into his world again, this time taking along also his chest of talents, full of deeds. He called his people to him, one by one, and gave each of them the deed to a parcel of land and the ring to each of their hearts. And he said to them, "I have not found the key to honor, and I cannot rule this world or the hearts of her people if I have no honor." Many offered again to break the box open, but the old man refused. In forty years, he had gone through all the world three times, and by now was a very, very old man. Now, he had only the three chests, two of which were empty, and the other, which could not be opened.
He thought, once the world was mine, and all the creatures in it. Now, my talents are gone, my compassion spent, and I have nothing to give my son except this box I cannot open.
But when his hand touched the box it sprung open, and he saw that it held 2 chests, one marked "TALENTS" and the other marked "COMPASSION," and a key for each chest.
He thought, now I underdtand. Honor is not something to be spent or used, but to be kept. The key to honor is to keep it, always, and pass it on as a heritage and to one's son. How glad I am I never tired of the burden and broke the chest open!
He carefully lifted out the large, heavy chest marked "TALENTS" and the larger, heavier chest marked "COMPASSION," so that the largest chest of all, "HONOR," was empty and terribly light. But when he closed the lid and locked it again, the chest was once again the heaviest of all of them.
Then he called his son and said to him, "Son, I am very old, and I want you to have these three treasures......"