Once a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to have a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their challenge was to see who could travel the highway best.
On the day of the contest the people came. Some of them had fine chariots, some had fine clothing, fine hairdos, or great food. Some young men came in their track clothes and ran along the highway. People travelled the highway all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king that there was a large pile of rocks and debris left on the road at one spot, and this got in their way and hindered their travel.
At the end of the day, a lone traveller crossed the finish line and wearily walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king with great respect and handed him a bag of gold.
He explained, “I stopped along the way to clear away a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This bag of gold was under it all, and I want you to return it to its rightful owner.”
The king replied, “You are the rightful owner.”
The traveller replied, “Oh no, this is not mine. I’ve never known so much money.”
“Oh yes,” said the king, “you’ve earned this gold, for you won my contest. He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those who follow.”
Who did you help today?