“A king in the parts of the West had plundered his enemies and turned his steps home laden with immense booty; on the way a priest cried after him that he was taking away a score of his beasts among his spoil. The king took an oath of him and said: ‘Take what is your own and go back in peace.’ And when the priest, with an eye to profit rather than truth, picked out the best of every flock, Apollonides, though aware of what was going on, out of respect for him said nothing. A second priest ran up, and in like manner both demanded another score and went away forsworn like the first. And when a third appeared, proffering his oath for two beasts only, the king said to him: ‘Swear for a score like the others who have just gone.’ He, however, said: ‘My lord, I will not forswear myself.’ Then the king, desiring to reward his good faith, gave him, over and above his two, a hundred more, saying: ‘This man better deserves to have my beasts, as he was willing to go without a number for fear of perjury, than those others to have their own, who preferred forswearing themselves to going without.” (409)
What a fine example of honesty proving the better man and the bigger reward! I was a complete trouble maker in college. Even the dean had her evil eye on me. There was a particular fire escape door that was always left open in the building, and this, like a hollow hole in my heart, was my defeat. The Campus P.D. raided the building with sirens and bells, and found that door open for the eleventh time. This was the last straw. Looking for the culprit, they prepared the noose and the fire for us all. Not wanting my comrades sacrificed I fessed up the whole thing, in truthful honesty. In the end, I wasn’t scathed in the least. Such are the fruits of frankness.
But really, they just wanted somebody to admit that there was wrong afoot! Bad things happen in the dark, or so we all know and fail to talk about. Might this be a societal problem? How can we fix it? Better to fix than to let it fester; any modern physician can affirm that. But no! Let’s give drugs and put bandaids on massive wounds. Does a bandaid really cover thirty years of iniquity? The irony: they give drugs to people to get people from their drug addiction. I’m really confused. How can our own hearts remain unblemished in the fitful maze that is the world? How can we find time for loved ones and not sacrifice our own personhood? There are many snares, but what better a remedy than honest truth? Even the best of us steps on a spider or breaks a branch. Dark deeds shouldn’t way on you, for they will fester like wounds and grow heavy like the stone pressed on the chest. Sooner or later, the body begins to smell from its own corruption. An unblemished heart, made white as snow, is quickened with the spirit of joy. But lets talk about the elephant in the room because it may just set us free.
So if you do it wrongly, then fess up. You may just get a bigger reward for it. Who knows, we all are full of treason in one way or another; what better than to make a joke out of it? Another question to mull over: Who is the plunderer? Is it he who plunders or he who plunders the plunderer?