A great king, his dominion spanning most of Persia, had everything.
His kingdom flourished, he had wise councellors, his wife being the most brilliant of them. And yet he suffered from varying moods, feeling elated and overjoyed on one day, depressed and thoughtful on the next. In both moods, he would make poor decisions. This was slowly becoming a danger to the kingdom.
He had heard of the wisest of wise men, at the boundary of his kingdom. So he sent for him, for he might find an answer to the king’s sole problem. When the wise man arrived, the king challenged him to find a solution.
The wise man was uncertain at first. In the following months, he discovered many ideas, but none would help the king. Then he tried meditating. In a silent mountain retreat, he pondered the problem in solitude. More months went by. Then, after the king had almost given up hope, the wise man reemerged. He bore a ring, that he presented to the king. The ring was of simple craft with no ornamentation. Only an inscription traced across the surface:
Even this will pass.
I read this story as a child and reproduced it from memory. It’s said to be originally from the koran, but I couldn’t find it there. What I love about it is how true it holds. Even this will pass. The science of happiness supports that statement: humans tend to adjust their happiness level. Lottery winners aren’t any happier one year later. Survivors of devastating accidents aren’t any less happy one year after the event. We adjust. That’s what we do.