According to an ancient Sufi story, there once lived a king in a Middle Eastern land.
The king was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The smallest things could make him really upset or give him an intense emotional reaction, so his happiness easily turned into disappointment and despair. One day the king got tired of himself and started seeking a way out.
He sent for a wise man living in his kingdom. The wise man was reputed for being enlightened. When he arrived, the king said to him: “I want to be like you. Can you bring me something that give balance, peace and serenity in my life? I will pay whatever price you like.”
The wise man replied: “I may be able to help you, but the price is so great that not even your kingdom would be enough payment for it. Therefore I will give it to you as a gift, if you will honour it.”
The king gave his assurances, and the wise man left. A few weeks later he returned, and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box, and found a simple gold ring inside. The inscription on the ring read, ’This, too, shall pass’.
“What is the meaning of this?” asked the king.
The wise man replied: “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch the ring and read the inscription. That way, you will always be at peace.”