In a country not too long ago lived a king. This king was vain and arrogant, and thought, as most powerful people do, that his way of thinking was the only right and proper way of thinking. And so one day, he decided that the people in his dominion should be perfect.
He called all of his advisers and ministers together to discuss his plan, and to his delight, all his advisers and ministers, as most advisers and ministers of powerful, vain and arrogant kings do, agreed; all except one. Before the king and his royal court the jester rolled on the floor in fits of laughter.
“Fool!”, roared the furious king. “How dare you laugh at me! You with the crooked back and twisted nose! You shall be the first to suffer for your imperfections.”
With that, the jester was dragged off to the dungeon.
The king put his plan into action passing laws and decrees that would create a perfect human race in his kingdom. He outlawed the sick and feeble, banished the ugly and blemished, and created schools that taught only what the vain and arrogant king knew was right and proper thinking. Finally, he created strict rules on what would be the accepted standard for beauty and perfection.
Many embraced the new laws, for who wouldn’t want to be perfect? Those who wouldn’t comply were forced until, finally, the king felt that he had reached his goal of a perfect kingdom. The people all followed his standards of beauty, there were no sick and feeble to be found, and everyone thought the same way.
But, try as he might, he could not ignore the feeling of sadness and unrest in his kingdom. People were unhappy, vain, petty, scared, selfish and unfeeling.
Then one day he noticed that his son, while playing, moved at a slower pace. Later, he kissed his wife the queen on her cheek, and her skin which once felt soft and supple was now cold and hard. A strange thing was happening throughout his kingdom. The beautiful, perfect, people began to stiffen. They all became cold and hard to the touch, cold and hard of heart. Slowly but surely, the people of the king’s perfect kingdom were turning into statues; beautiful in image, but cold and emotionless shadows of what they once were.
The king was at a loss and couldn’t understand why! He couldn’t get an answer from his advisers and ministers because they all thought like he did. If he didn’t know, how could they? Then he remembered that there was still one person left in his kingdom that he could ask. He raced to his dungeon!
There he found hanging by his thumbs in a damp and dirty cell, his old court jester. He cut him down, and after telling him everything he had done, demanded his opinion.
The jester smiled and replied, “Your majesty is a greater fool than I. You tried to create perfection of the body and not the soul. Your majesty’s idea of perfection is only an illusion, a pale image of the beauty that is humanity. Statues are only images of perfection. In reality, they are cold and unfeeling. Our imperfections are what make us human. By trying to create a perfect human race you have destroyed the humane race.”