Years passed and time came for him to step down. He called his advisors to the royal garden to review their work. All of the trees were gloriously bountiful and colorful except one. It had not even broken ground.
The king approached the gardener of the unborn tree and asked him what happened. "Your highness, I did my best. I watered the seed daily, spoke to it with love, used the best nutrients, and made sure it enjoyed hours of direct sunlight. I'm sorry to have disappointed you, but not even a root sprouted."
"My son," the king responded, "you shall be the next king."
The advisors looked at the king in shock. The king continued. "You see, instead of giving you each a seed, I gave you each a small, smooth pebble. Most of you couldn't bear the thought of not succeeding, of not being the best, so you planted a 'real' seed.
Only one of you had the integrity and honesty to do your best with what you were given. That man will be your next king."
This story clearly illustrates what being a teacher is all about — and we are all teachers. It's not about the bells and whistles. It's not about good looks or fancy words. It's about honesty, integrity, and dedication. It's the willingness to make the best of what you've been given, even if it's not what fits the mold. It sometimes means working long and hard hours at a relationship, with not so much as a thank you.