Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ron Paul's Empty Pot and Will Rogers

Ed Felien, editor and publisher of the Southside Pride, recounted this story with flair at a Ron Paul Meetup last night at Powderhorn Park. Wish I had a video. It's the story of the emperor and the empty pot,
The wise, old emperor was keenly aware that he was getting along in years, and he worried about finding a suitable replacement to lead the people. One day, he solicited the young people of his kingdom to gather, and he shocked them by telling them that he would be stepping down and that he would choose one of them to be his successor. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today, a very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”

One young man named Ling, a son of a farmer, was there that day, and he was certain that he could cultivate that seed better than anyone else. He got a pot, filled it with rich soil and watered it carefully. Day after day, he checked the pot. Weeks passed by, then months, and still nothing had grown. Other youths from the kingdom began to talk about their plants and flowers and trees, but Ling said nothing. He was sure that he somehow had killed the seed.

After a year had passed, all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling’s first inclination was not to attend, but he showed up that day, sick to his stomach. He was amazed at the plants that the others had brought. They were of all different varieties and all so beautiful. Some of the others made fun of Ling’s empty pot and others felt pity for him. Ling stood toward the back of the crowd.

The emperor looked over the vast array and seemed pleased. Then, he spotted Ling standing at the back of the room with his empty pot, and he ordered his guards to bring the young man to the front. Ling was led grudgingly, fearful that he may be punished for his utter failure. The emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. Now, all the youths were laughing and making fun. The emperor then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”
The emperor continued,

One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. The rest of you substituted your own seeds for the one I gave you, but Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be your new emperor!

Read the rest at News Long Island...

It reminds me of Will Rogers routine on radio, three-quarters of a century ago, where he builds up to the announcement of his great plan, The Will Rogers Plan, that will solve all the ails of the country,
It kinda looks like a bad day for plans... I'm not going to get discouraged though. In fact, these other failures -- well, they've really given me confidence, you know -- more hope that my plan will be a success... My plan is a plan to end all plans. It's to do away with all plans. That's what it is. This country has been planned to death... There ain't but one place that a plan is any good and that it'll really work, and that's on paper. But the minute you get it off a sheet of paper and get it out in the air... it blows away. ... Plans just don't work. If they're milk and honey to you, they're poison ivy to somebody else... My plan is when a senator or congressman -- or even a man of great ability (we must quit joking about those boys, because they're good guys) ... comes to Washington with a plan, you send 'em to Russia. Yes, sir, send 'em to Russia with the plan. That's the home of all plans, you know. That's the home. Russia, they eat and sleep and drink plans in Russia. That's why there's starvation there, because you just can't digest a plan. It don't eat right. Everything in Russia is run by plans; everything here is run by accident... [The Rogers Plan] is: 'Don't Plan' ... Live haphazard... There's nothing in the world as common as an idea, and there's nothing in the world as hard to carry out as an idea. If the Republicans would forget their main plan which is to get into the White House and the Democrats would forget their main plan which is to stay in there, and the others, all these various third parties, would just look at their history which shows that none of them ever did get in there, why, we'd all recover overnight, you see.

     Will Rogers - Rogers' Plan to End All Plans

Ed Felien has written a front-page article supporting Ron Paul, which should appear soon in our neighborhood edition of the Southside Pride, Ron Paul revolution: Are you ready?.

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