One day while traveling along the road, a man came across a small blossom of truth. Its petals were pure white and its stem soft and delicate. Fearing for its safety, he carefully picked it, wrapped it up, and put it in his pocket before continuing down the road.
As he went, he met a woman sitting next to a tall flower. Its petals were a deep red, and the vines of its stems crawled up her arms.
“What is that?” he asked, amazed.
“Truth!” she said, inviting him to sit beside her and enjoy the scent of the flower, but he turned away.
“That is not truth. I have seen it, and its petals are white as snow.”
He continued on, clutching at the tiny blossom in his pocket as he went. Still further down the road, he passed a man leaning against a tall tree stretching up into the sky.
“What is it?” he asked, astounded. “I have never seen anything like it.”
“Truth,” said the man under its great branches.
“That is not truth,” he scoffed. “I have seen truth; I carry it with me even now. Its stem is soft and delicate, not hard and rough.”
He turned away and continued down the road, clutching at the blossom in his pocket still harder. Eventually, he came to a field filled with bright yellow flowers where several children were running and playing.
“What is this that grows here?” he called to them.
“This is not truth!” he cried, angered. “I carry truth with me!”
“Let us see it then.” And the children gathered around, curious.
He pulled it from his pocket, but to his dismay, the flower had withered, its stem becoming twisted and the petals blackened in the darkness. The roots clung to him, digging into his skin, and he hastily hid it away again.
“You are children. If I say I have seen truth and this is not it, then you would be wise to listen.”
He rushed away down the road, but as he tried to walk, the roots grew around him, tripping him and making it hard to breathe until he had to stop.
“Curse this truth,” he sighed. “I wish I had left it where I found it.”
With great pain, he ripped his truth from himself and cast it aside. But even as he did, he noticed another flower beside him, its petals a dark blue.
“I will leave it where I found it this time,” he said as he studied the flower. “But I will visit it again to see if the rains have swept it away or the sun burned its leaves.”
So, he went on his way, passing many blooms of different shapes and colors as he went, but he returned often. And each time he did, the flower had grown and changed, its roots digging deep and its leaves reaching for the sky.
—Hold your truth in an open hand—