Once upon a time, there was a very skinny ruler, who was known as the Thin King. He ruled his people with absolute authority. Nobody questioned what the Thin King told them. The Thin King kept his people subservient by instilling them with fear and doubt. If the Thin King told you that you were ugly, you would hide your face in shame. If the Thin King told you you were stupid, you would shy away from challenges, knowing you couldn’t succeed. If the Thin King told you you were worthless, you would fall into a deep depression. The Thin King was relentless, issuing constant decrees and his people suffered.
One day, a wandering monk came into the kingdom and was shocked to find such miserable people. He sat down in the middle of the village and smiled. Day after day, he sat there and smiled. Some people cautiously approached him and warned him that the Thin King had told them they should not smile. He continued to sit and smile. Some of the people became intrigued and a few brave souls joined him and sat with him. They quickly realized that they didn’t have to believe the Thin King.
A young girl, who had joined the monk, realized that it was the Thin King that was making the kingdom miserable. She began a movement to stop the Thin King.
The Thin King became worried and told people that the monk was a phony and that the little girl was under a spell. The people though, were drawn to the smiling monk and could recognize the truth in the girl’s words. They started questioning what the Thin King was telling them. When they actually paid attention to the Thin King’s assertions, they realized for themselves that he was causing their misery. The people followed the example of the monk and sat and smiled.
Their sitting worked and when the Thin King stopped, the people were suddenly free. The Thin King continued making his decrees, but the decrees were kinder and more encouraging. The people learned to doubt the Thin King, believing only what they knew to be true. The monk moved on, the young girl continued to raise awareness of the subtle tricks of the Thin King and the people lived happily ever after.