Ancient Wisdom: The Story of the King Who Seeks Happiness

A long time ago lived a king who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor at peace with himself.

One day, the king came across a servant who sang happily while working. This made the king wonder why he, the Supreme Leader of the land, was unhappy and gloomy, while a humble servant had so much joy in his life?

"Why are you so happy?", the king asked the servant.

"Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, and my family and I do not need much - just a roof over our heads and hot food to fill our stomachs", the man replied.

The king was not satisfied with this answer. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his trusted counselor. After listening to the king's question and the story of his servant, the advisor replied, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant is not part of Club 99."

"Club 99? What is this?" the king asked.

The counselor replied, "Your Majesty, to truly understand what Club 99 means, put 99 gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's door."

When the servant saw the bag, he took it into the house. When he opened it, a great shout of joy was heard coming from his house ... So many gold coins! He began counting them, and after counting them several times, he became convinced that they were 99 coins. But a question did not give the servant peace: "What could have happened to the last gold coin? Certainly, no one would leave only 99 coins!"

He searched everywhere, but the last coin was missing.

Eventually, exhausted, he decided he had to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete the sum. From that day on, the servant's life changed: he worked hard, became grumpy, and criticized his family for not helping him earn that gold coin. He even stopped singing while working. Witnessing this drastic transformation, the king was increasingly puzzled.

Not understanding what had happened to his servant, the king turned to the counselor again for an answer.

The adviser told him: "Your Majesty, he has now joined Club 99. Club 99 is a generic name for those people who have enough to be happy but are never satisfied with,  because they’re always yearning and striving for that extra 1, saying to themselves, I must obtain this last thing, and then I will be happy for life."

We can be happy even with very little in our lives, but the moment we receive something bigger and better, we begin to want even more. We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us. All this as a price for our ever-increasing needs and desires.

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