Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)
TITLE: The Amazing Race
By Shellie Power
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The kingdom was buzzing with excitement as people read and discussed the contest. Each person reacted differently. Some were so excited that they left everything in order to search for puzzle pieces. Others were skeptical of the King and his intentions and so they chose to ignore the contest and to not look at all. Many, like Caleb, decided to keep their eyes open and see if they would happen across pieces during their regular day to day activities.
There was a great celebration when the first piece was found. Excited participants began asking for pieces wherever they went.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. People were still collecting puzzle pieces but the contest was no longer the center of every conversation. Caleb stored the pieces he had found in a backpack and carried them at all times. One day as he opened the backpack to add a piece he was surprised to find that his puzzle was complete. The pieces he had collected formed a crown.
Following the contest rules Caleb brought the completed puzzle to the King. The King welcomed Caleb with an embrace and bestowed on him great treasure.
Caleb, though happy to have won, was confused. "How did I find all the pieces when there were many who searched harder?" he asked the King. "You've won by observing the most important rule--'Show no favoritism.'"
"Think about where you acquired each piece." instructed the King.
Caleb had discovered a piece in the market place under a basket that he helped move for an elderly shopkeeper. He found another in the field that he ploughed for a poor widow. There was a piece inside the storybook that he read to the kids that played out on his street. He had also received a puzzle piece in a letter from a man who had asked for volunteers.
The King explained to Caleb the most important rule. Everybody in the kingdom was to be treated as equals and yet many looked for riches only among the wealthy and influential. Many were so busy searching that they ignored the needs of others around them. Caleb had managed to find all the pieces to the puzzle because he was willing to associate with and work with the "least" in the kingdom.
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