Once upon a time not so long ago, in a land not so far away, there lived a young couple that desperately wanted to become someone important. They wanted someone to fall down and worship the ground they walked on. Oh the sad existence they had. No money, no recognition and no power. They wanted to be king and queen of their realm. So they set about the task of building their kingdom. They began by pouring over the historical information for their little hamlet to see where they might find the right corner stone to set up their kindgom. It needed to be an old stone, but an important one. They needed to build the perfect castle from which to reign. As they scoured the land for just such a stone they spied an old abandoned castle sitting high upon a mountain that was sure to have the perfect stone.
They desperately wanted this corner stone for their very own. But fate was not kind. The doors were boarded up, the windows were sealed and the draw bridge over the moat was removed. The mean and greedy old king that owned it refused to let them enter. He told the pair that there was nothing there of any value. He was going to tear down the castle and cart it away as garbage. Fearing the loss of their dream they decided to make their own bridge across the moat, break down the doors and go inside to look for their perfect corner stone. "We must preserve history," they proclaimed as they entered.
Once inside they painted rosey pictures to show what their kingdom would be like when they began to build. "No one will believe we can be great leaders if we don't have the perfect corner stone," exlaimed one to the other. So they searched the old castle for the perfect stone to show their friends who would then be invited to join them in their kindgom.
Finally at last they spied the perfect stone and had to break it loose from the wall. With their pictures and their corner stone in hand they left the castle and headed back to their lowly homes.
With determination they began building. Using the pretty pictures of their dream castle and their corner stone they began talking to the villagers around them, asking for support in their quest to be king and queen. Some believed in this dream so much that they dropped to their knees and pledged allegiance to the couple.
Others weren't so quick to be swayed. The couple were laughed at, and even closed out of the shops of those that feared change. So the couple sent their new found friends out to persuade the shopkeepers that they would make great leaders.
Slowly the kingdom began to grow and the new king and queen took it as a sign that this was meant to be. They began setting up new laws that would govern their people and keep them in line. At the top of the list for their new laws was one that proclaimed "never enter a castle without permission" followed by "be nice to everyone you meet".
Soon the kingdom had expanded enough that some began to wonder why they had followed this new king and queen. They could not understand how the new king and queen had gotten their corner stone if the laws prevented any from entering a castle without permission. They began to wander about asking questions. The new king and queen didn't like this turn of events and set up even more laws to maintain their kingdom in an orderly fashion.
They began putting taxes into place to make their kingdom profitable. After all, what would a kingdom be good for if it wasn't making a profit. The new king and queen held court but informed the poor citizens that they would have to pay a tax to attend. "Not to worry dear citizens, the taxes will cover the cost of your food while you are in attendance" they said. This didn't seem to bother their people greatly so they began preparations for more taxes.
While the preparations were under way some of the puzzled peasants began talking amongst themselves wondering why the king and queen didn't follow their own laws. The numbers began growing as the king and queen sat pondering how to become more prosperous.
"We will have a travelling party, but the peasants will have to pay dearly to attend" the king said to the queen while greedily rubbing his hands in anticipation. "We'll make enough to fill our treasury and more."
"But what shall we do when we return my dear king?" queried the queen.
"Oh, we shall have a grand ball with all the fancy trimmings. And we shall invite only the most faithful of our followers to make us look benevelant and kind. We'll have a band of musicians play our favorite music, and the chefs will prepare our favorite foods. But the peasants will have to pay us for the priviledge of attending the ball."
"What else can we do to make our treasury full my king?" asked the queen as she dreamed of the riches that would flow in their direction.
"How about tours of our kingdom?" asked the king with a greedy smile. "We'll take them through the heart of our kingdom and fill them with tales of who passed this way in years gone by. Even if it has only been hinted at we'll make them see the truth and logic of it," he said. "We'll show them all the grand old buildings that were here before the kingdom was built and make them believe that we know it all. They will be so filled with awe at our knowledge that they won't mind paying us to share it with them."
"Now that sounds like a good plan to me my dearest. But what about those few that don't follow our ways? What about those that don't believe we are the rightful rulers?" the queen whimpered.
"Not to worry my love. We will spread word throughout the land that these people make the whole kingdom look bad. We will make everyone understand that our way is the only way. Our faithful followers will make the others sorry that they didn't follow our laws," the king replied. "The peasants will honor us as they should."
Meanwhile the disgruntled peasants decided to create their own kingdom within the boundaries of the king and queen's self proclaimed realm. They began gathering those that were unhappy with the ruling king and queen and started their own tours without any charge for the knowledge. They shared their information freely with anyone that wished to learn.
Now the king and queen heard about this and became irrate that someone would presume to hold court in their kingdom. "How dare they!" screeched the queen. "We were here first! How dare they! Besides, what gives them the right?! It was our idea first!"
The king was beside himself, moaning about all the taxes they would lose if they didn't get rid of this group soon. The pair went off to counsel with their most faithful servants and asked them what to do.
One said, "Make them look foolish and maybe they'll go away."
Another suggested, "Send word throughout the land that anyone associated with them will be subjected to the most horrific tortures."
And yet another offered their advice. "Send in the sherrif to put them in prison for breaking your laws."
"Who shall be the sherrif your highnesses?" questioned a trusted servant.
"Oh we shall! We shall patrol the realm from on high and make sure each evil deed is announced for all to hear. We shall make sure our realm is safe from the bad seed that has arisen" proclaimed the pair.
A small voice in the back of the crowd went unheard, but whispered quietly aloud. "But if they go to prison for breaking the laws of the kingdom, what happens to the king and queen when they break them? Or doesn't that matter?"
The small voice left the counsel chamber and spoke to a friend in bewilderment. "Why do the king and queen break their own laws? Aren't they there for everyone? They made the law to "never enter a castle without permission", yet they had to break down the doors of the castle on the mountain to get their corner stone. They say "be nice to everyone" but they are persecuting someone they haven't even met. They don't give anyone a chance to learn anything without having to pay more taxes. I don't understand how the kingdom is supposed to grow like that," sighed the small voice. "I also don't understand how they can take a theory without any shred of proof to back it up and say it is the truth."
The friend tried hard to remain neutral and see both sides, but in the end could not understand the double standard either. At every turn the king and queen were saying mean and hurtful things about those that did not follow devoutly. Wasn't that being disrespectful to others? Wasn't it a little ridiculous to practice one thing and preach another? Didn't this make the king and queen hypocrites? Why were the king and queen acting this way?
The small voice of dissent was beginning to grow into a roar and this frightened the king and queen. How would they fill their treasury? They proclaimed the disgruntled peasants as rebels and a bounty was put on their heads. The king and queen would go to any length including fabricating to make these rebels go away so they could reign their realm in peace.
But for every rebel that was captured and sent to prison another rebel took their place. Soon the realm was dotted with more rebel encampments, each offering little bits and pieces of information that the king and queen declared was theirs. The king and queen were furious and stormed about their castle moaning about their dilemma.
"What are we to do dearest?" cried the queen. "How can we fill our treasury and live in comfort with all these rebels running around?"
Thinking hard the king decided, "I've got it!! Let's ridicule the rebel leaders and discredit them. Maybe then others will not follow them, but return to us instead. Or maybe we should....."
Suddenly a lowly servant emerged from the next chamber and quietly said "Wouldn't it be better to just leave them alone? The more you try to fight them the more foolish you look. The more you scream about them being here the more others will be curious about them and go find out what they are all about. Many will be so impressed with the rebels that they will stay, while others will just leave the realm entirely and never return. There is no way to rid the realm of all the rebels your highnesses, so why not declare a truce and live in peace instead?"
With that said the lowly servant disappeared into another room and left the king and queen to think about the suggestion.