A son of shopkeeper was sent to the wisest man in the World to learn the secret of happiness. The wise man lived on a beautiful castle high atop a mountain. To reach there the lad had to go through the desert for 40 days.
The lad on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to get his attention.
The wise man listened attentively and then suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours to get the explanation.
“Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something”, said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill”.
The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.
“Well”, asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”
The boy was embarrassed to confess that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that was entrusted to him.
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world”, ordered the wise man .
Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.
“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.
Said the wise man ,”The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”.
The morale of the story , “Take care of small things to reap the rewards of life towards happiness”.