Todo pasa, hasta la ciruela pasa
I really don’t know what led me to spin this whole tale from the vaguest of memories when I read this post but it did. (The teacher, btw, is almost surely Dorothy, my Mexican History teacher… or perhaps that cool Spanish teacher whose name I’m forgetting now.) Parece que tengo futuro como redactor de comerciales de Aplijsa.
I remember a high school teacher used to tell us a story about a young prince of a faraway kingdom. His father, the king, had gifted him on the day he came of age a fine ring of pure gold with only the engraving “This will pass” on its surface. “You will live through hard times,” said the old king with a sad smile, “when everything around you will seem to fall apart, when you’ll be powerless, when you’ll be hopeless. That is the lot of man.”
“But,” and the monarch looked at his son in the eye as he put the ring on his finger, “‘they will pass’, and that wisdom is my gift to you.” The prince nodded gravely and yet distant, blithely enveloped in the abstractness of youth.
“Wait,” said the king, as his son was leaving his royal chamber, “there’s one more thing. Perhaps the day will come to you, as it came to me, when not even these words will be enough. There’s a hidden message on the back of this ring, therein lies the rest of my wisdom. It shall give you hope, as it gave it to me. You must not read it until then.” And with that, he sent his son away to enjoy his day.
Time passed. The king died a few years later and our prince succeeded him, proving himself a king as noble and wise as his father. He was very successful but he was not without his share of tragedy; the ring was his companion at those times, and indeed it gave him hope when there was none.
But soon after his 40th birthday, terror stroke his kingdom, a plague with no parallel even in legends devoured his entire country. It took her wife and his two children away, and so it did to almost half of his subjects. His kingdom was crumbling, reverting to a state of chaos, and there was generalized despair. His people turned to him for guidance but he found none within himself. But just when he entertained thoughts on his own death he remembered his father’s ring. He took it away slowly and, after some hesitation, read the hidden message. He cried happy tears at the sight of those four letters; he had found his hope.
In clear-cut white letters, the back of the ring read only: “This, too, shall pass.”
First published as a comment on Reddit.