Once upon a time, there was a king who had one really close friend from his youth. This friend became the king’s most trusted minister. The minister had an amazing ability to find the bright side of things. Whatever happened, whether it seemed good or bad, he invariably commented, “This is good!”
The minister always accompanied the king on his favorite adventures: hunting in the jungle. But once while hunting on a rainy day, the king slipped as he let the arrow go and the arrow pierced the king’s thumb. Immediately, the minister wrapped a cloth around the injury to stop the bleeding as the king howled in agony…..and then the minister remarked, “This is good!”
This was too much for the poor king. He had been irritated before at every misfortune being described as “good”. But now he was badly injured, his hand perhaps permanently disfigured and the minister still had the nerve to utter, “This is good!” When they returned to their village, the king had his minister thrown into prison. Even then, the minister repeated, “This is good!”
A few weeks later, the king had recovered enough to go hunting again – but this time alone. A tribe of cannibals was hunting nearby. The king was surrounded and taken to the cannibals’ camp. They tied him to a stake and began to boil water. But they noticed that his thumb was badly damaged. The drums stopped, they untied the king and forced him out of their camp. The king ran home. Why was he saved? Being superstitious, his captors believed that eating anyone who was less than completely whole would cause a terrible curse to fall upon them.
When the king got home he immediately thought of his friend the minister and went to free him from prison. He apologized over and over and said, “Injuring my thumb saved my life from the cannibals. I was wrong to put you in prison.” But the minister said, “Going to prison was good for me.” The king did not understand. The friend explained, “If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you on the hunting trip. I would also have been captured by the cannibals – and I am completely whole! THIS IS GOOD.”