The “99” Club

Long ago, there lived a King. This King should have been content with his life, given all the riches and luxuries he had. However, this was not the case!
The King always found himself wondering why he just never seemed content with his life. Sure, he had the attention of everyone wherever he went, attended fancy dinners and parties, but somehow, he still felt something was lacking and he couldn’t put his finger on it.
One day, the King had woken up earlier than usual and decided to stroll around his palace. He entered his huge living room and came to a stop when he heard someone happily singing away. Following this singing, he saw that one of the servants was singing and had a very content look on his face. This fascinated the King and he summoned this man to his chambers.
The man, his servant, entered the King’s chambers as ordered. The King asked as to why he was so happy? To this the man replied: “Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but I make enough of a living to keep my wife and children happy. We don’t need too much, a roof over our head and warm food to fill our tummy. My wife and children are my inspiration, they are content with whatever little I bring home. I am happy because my family is happy.”
Hearing this, the King dismissed the servant and summoned his Personal Assistant to his chambers. The King related his personal anguish about his feelings and then related the story of the servant to his Personal Assistant, hoping that somehow, he will be able to come up with some reasoning that here was a King who could have anything he wished for at a snap of his fingers and yet was not content, whereas, his servant, having so little was extremely content.
The Personal Assistant listened attentively and come to a conclusion. He said “Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of the ’99’ Club.” “The ’99’ Club? and what exactly is that?” the King inquired. To which the Assistant replied, “Your Majesty, to truly know what The “99” Club is, you will have to do the following: place 99 Gold Coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep, you will then understand what The “99” Club is.”
That very same evening, the King arranged for 99 Gold coins to be placed in bag at the servant’s doorstep. Although he was slightly hesitant and he thought he should have put 100 Gold Coins in the bag, but since his assistant had advised him to put 99 that is what he did.
The servant was just stepping out of his house when he saw a bag at his doorstep. Wondering about its contents, he took it into his house and opened the bag. When he opened the bag he let out a great big shout of joy…Gold Coins…so many of them. He could hardly believe it. He called his wife to show her the coins and they were besides themselves. He then took the bag to a table and emptied it out and began to count the coins. Doing so, he realized that there were 99 coins and he thought it was an odd number so he counted again, and again and again only to come to the same conclusion…99 Gold Coins.. He began to wonder, what could have happened to that last 1 coin? For no one would leave 99 coins. He began to search his entire house, looked around his backyard for hours, not wanting to lose out on that one coin. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to make up for that 1 Gold coin to make his entire collection an even 100 Gold Coins.
He got up the next morning, in an extremely horrible mood, shouting at the children and his wife for his delay, not realizing that he had spent most of the night up conjuring ways of working hard so that he had enough money to buy himself that gold coin. He went to work as usual only not in his usual best mood, singing happily and whistling all day. He didn’t even seem to notice that the King was watching him as he grumpily did his daily errands.
Seeing the man’s attitude change so drastically, the King was puzzled. He promptly summoned his assistant to his chambers. The King related his thoughts about the servant and once again, his assistant listened. The King could not believe that the servant who until yesterday had been singing away and was happy and content with his life had taken a sudden change of attitude, even though he should have been happier after receiving the gold coins.
To this the assistant replied “Ah but your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.” He explained: “The 99 Club is just a name given to those people who have everything but yet are never content, therefore they are always working hard and striving for that extra 1 to round it out to 100! We have so much to be thankful for and we can live with very little in our lives, but the minute we are given something bigger and better, we want even more! We are not the same happy contented person we used to be, we want more and more and by wanting more and more we don’t realize the price we pay for it. We lose our sleep, our happiness; we hurt the people around us just as a price to pay for our growing needs and desires. That is what joining The 99 Club is all about.”
Hearing this the King decided that from that day onwards, he was going to start appreciating all the little things in life.
Striving for more is always good, but lets not strive so hard and for so much that we lose all those near and dear to our heart. We shouldn’t compromise our happiness for moments of luxuries!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. excelwitheducationalexcellence
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 03:23:25

    Red Marbles

    Some good advice

    I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas..

    I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

    Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

    ‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’

    ‘H’lo , Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’

    ‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?’

    ‘Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’

    ‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’

    ‘No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’

    ‘Would you like to take some home ?’ asked Mr.. Miller.

    ‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.’

    ‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’

    ‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’

    ‘Is that right? Let me see it’ said Miller..

    ‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’

    ‘I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home ?’ the store owner asked.

    ‘Not zackley but almost..’

    ‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’.. Mr. Miller told the boy.

    ‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’

    Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.. With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store..’

    I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

    Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr… Miller had died.

    They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

    Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts….all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her, and moved on to the casket..

    Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

    Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

    ‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about colour or size…..they came to pay their debt.’

    ‘We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,’ she confided, ‘but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.’

    With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband.. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

    The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds…. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath…..

    Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn’t make yourself…An unexpected phone call from an old friend…Green traffic lights on your way to work….The fastest line at the grocery store…A good sing-along song on the radio…Your keys found right where you left them.

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  2. Solveig
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 15:02:33

    Love this story!!

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  3. Plush Illusions
    Jan 23, 2013 @ 21:37:57

    Very Nice Story and this overall blog is extremely inspirational and beneficial to anyone who reads it!

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  4. Alma Howard Graham
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 15:35:30

    Hi Cook!!!
    Its Alma “Juana”. I was happy to read your Wednesday blog about Hipp! I, too, think of him from time to time and remember my First love. He was a beautiful soul who helped shape my idea of what feeling safe and loved means. Thanks for the memory. Its so crazy that I never knew you were from White Plains too. Are Hipp’s parents still alive? I haven’t reached out since he passed. Peace and blessings…Alma Jean

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    • excelwitheducationalexcellence
      Jul 05, 2013 @ 16:55:26

      Hello, Alma Jean! Yes, we were both from White Plains … same building in the Projects … our families were very close too as indicated in the post. I do believe that both his parents have passed also … they were up in age, too, like both of mine! I remember you guys … you and Bobby … me and Lee Ella …. may they both Rest in Peace and God’s love through eternity!!!

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