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The seed of honesty

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.”

The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.

Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however… He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful — in all shapes and sizes.

Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front.

Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!”

Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
* If you plant faith in God , you will reap a harvest.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later..

“Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back”

Author Unknown
Story was submitted by visitor Madhukar 

{ 59 comments… add one }
  • Teshale September 29, 2023, 10:58 pm

    Very good story!

  • Rajarethinam November 19, 2021, 12:59 am

    A good story it is

  • Anthony Vaz October 5, 2021, 1:10 am

    Honesty is the best policy

  • Manasa Qoro October 4, 2020, 3:29 am

    Beautiful❤ well said

  • Neeha February 11, 2020, 10:39 am

    Good story

  • Shourya December 18, 2018, 10:47 am

    Neither Jim nor the C.E.O is great….,Honesty is great.

  • Fridah Magaba August 31, 2017, 3:39 am

    Beautiful story indeed!

  • Prasad February 9, 2017, 1:30 pm

    A very motivating and inspiring story.??

  • Yousof May 11, 2016, 10:46 am

    Thank you for sharing the story. I’ll use it on a speech in a few days. Just what I was looking for. These are life lessons!

  • Ujjwal February 29, 2016, 3:04 am

    A good story

  • Jess January 29, 2016, 12:38 pm

    It’s the same with the King that is looking for his Prince’ soon to be wife. I like the story so much. More power. For me honesty is the only thing that is perfect in this world. More power and God bless.

  • Aayush December 14, 2015, 10:07 am

    Awesome Fantastic…..
    I like it………..

  • Koju anel April 6, 2015, 12:05 am

    Really fantastic .. I like it!!

  • Waiyiko July 1, 2014, 8:37 am

    What a great story! It’s really effective to my young learners.

  • Prof Awuni April 16, 2014, 4:27 am

    Wow!! very good for eternal living

  • Marcie March 26, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Honesty is the best policy! ThanQ 4 sharing!

  • Daya March 10, 2014, 2:40 pm

    I am a traditional yoga teacher and teach the yamas and niyamas in class. I am starting to tell a story to bring home the message even clearer of all 10 commitments. Yours was classic and well organized. Thanks.

  • Awoosh_27 January 16, 2014, 8:57 am

    Something is really true, honesty is the most important policy in life…

  • John December 25, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Great story. Note that Jim acted on the encouragement of his wife. It’s easy to second guess ourselves, and often we can benefit from the counsel and encouragement of someone we trust.

  • Meena November 10, 2013, 9:49 am

    Really the New CEO Mr. Jim is Great.. But till now I haven’t seen such a person…. so where is Jim in this world?

  • Rajasekaran October 14, 2013, 7:12 am

    It’s very hard to explain the goodness of story in some words anyway it’s both marvelous and educative.

  • Sailaja July 22, 2013, 8:45 pm

    I am really in the garden of your story. Hats off to you. I will tell the story to the people when it is necessary. Thank you.

  • Love July 18, 2013, 8:21 am

    Verrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyy nicccccccccccccceeeeeeeeeeee.

  • Jimmy Johnson July 7, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Wow ….Wonderful story uncle… I’m very inspired by this story … thanks for opening my eyes……

  • Jake Londonio July 1, 2013, 10:18 pm

    Very nice, very motivational story…

  • Zungusnoh May 11, 2013, 2:00 am

    Nice story to be Honesty

    Thanks very true, if you plant arange tree, you cannot reap apples. You will reap what you have planted.

  • Andrea April 26, 2013, 8:29 am

    This is actually based on a story titled “The Empty Pot” by Demi.

  • Chuckoffia Ngozi Theodora. April 6, 2013, 7:29 am

    It is a very touching story. I have learned enough wisdom from it.

  • Gaurika March 19, 2013, 2:49 am

    Very, very nice.

  • Liz MqCann March 9, 2013, 7:25 pm

    Wow that was an amazing story. I love it!! God bless you.

  • Ezekiel mudi March 7, 2013, 5:48 pm

    A good educative story on the value of honesty.

  • Emma February 11, 2013, 11:35 am

    Honesty will be the true partner of your life as it brings only happiness in your life.

  • Jim John December 20, 2012, 5:26 pm

    Saw the ending a mile away but still a good story.

  • SHALVI SHARMA December 17, 2012, 10:56 am

    It was a wonderful story, everyone should learn something from Jim.

  • ANSHUL November 21, 2012, 2:56 am

    Very nice story awesome ……….

  • Genevieve November 9, 2012, 11:20 am

    Very well said comment, Pihu.

  • PIHU DIXIT October 29, 2012, 10:14 am

    I liked your way of inspiration in the form of such a great story. It’s really an appreciating story ever read by me. I really thank you to being so suspicious for our young generations.

    All I can say is you are a true preacher & from all I thank to provide us a good knowledge about honesty which in todays world is impossible to find. I hope you’ll always keep inspiring us with ur great stories.


  • Sagar October 9, 2012, 4:53 am

    It’s very nice.

  • Pranali October 4, 2012, 4:18 am

    Awesome story………….

  • Roenkiel October 1, 2012, 8:40 am

    Very nice story, still remember how our parish priest used this in one of his homilies, as he said, lets go back to basic, where everything is complicated… honesty is the best policy, one of the first thing our parents taught us.. two thumbs up…

  • Skand Kumar September 25, 2012, 1:59 am

    Nice story which teaches us that how better we can utilize our handicaps for our betterment.

  • Gilbert September 3, 2012, 4:46 am

    For me, Honesty is not only refrain from stealing and lying but also you do your full’s day work without the supervision of others as well as be punctual all the times.. this story is such a great and true.. just tell the truth dont make a lie.. instead be honest.

  • Alisha September 1, 2012, 11:18 am

    “Honesty is the best policy” is true, which we can understand by this beautifull lesson.

  • akib July 31, 2012, 1:23 am

    we should be HONEST always

  • Amna Rizwan July 30, 2012, 6:11 am

    Lovely story! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Venkat July 26, 2012, 11:59 pm

    Very good story about Honest

  • John Renell July 26, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Very awesome story!!!

    • V. Lopez January 10, 2020, 9:05 am

      Excellent story indeed. I utilize stories such as this to share with students and convey the point, that ‘honesty’ is not dead. There are still a few people in this country whom acquire integrity and practice it on a daily basis. Dishonesty, and deceitful acts of all sort have become the norm of our society, and too many people fail to have a ‘conscience.’ It is vital to me to thrust upon our youth the significance of being honest and trustworthy in this nation and to model that behavior.

  • Nooruddin khan July 26, 2012, 3:08 am

    Awesome story ………… Lesson for eveyone to lead a life positively

  • HAI July 20, 2012, 10:45 pm

    It is the rule of cause and effect! “Honesty is the best policy”.

  • Jai Ganesh July 17, 2012, 5:44 am

    Nice story! Being honest is more important than being smarter!

  • Palvinder kaur July 17, 2012, 1:32 am

    Nice …:)

  • Subhash Thapa Magar July 12, 2012, 1:21 am

    Very effective story

  • Vivian July 6, 2012, 1:15 pm

    An enlighting story

  • Fitsum July 3, 2012, 3:52 pm

    Nice story

  • Vandana June 29, 2012, 7:04 am

    Truth and honesty are what determine your success rather than just over smart work..

  • Nhimfx June 28, 2012, 7:08 pm

    Oh! Amazing! It’s such a nice story. . . . .a reminder to everyone that we should not give up!

  • Arpeeta June 28, 2012, 2:39 pm

    It’s true, what we plant today we will reap it tomorrow.

  • Manisha Jain June 28, 2012, 11:53 am

    Well written.

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