Stewardship Resource

The Sailor/King

Story  Story
  • Author: Unknown
  • Updated: 07/11/2008
  • Copyright: Unknown

A Sigmund Frued story(?)illustrates making the most out of the responsiblilies entrusted to us.  

Rumor has it that Sigmund Freud's favorite story illustrates making the most out of the responsiblilies entrusted to us.  

A sailor was shipwrecked on one of the South Sea Islands.  He was seized by the natives, hoisted to their shoulders, carried to the village, and set on a crude throne.  Little by little, the sailor learned that it was their custom once a year to make some man a king for a year.  
The sailor like that idea until he began to wonder what happened to all the former kings.  Soon he learned that every year when the kingship ended, the king was banished to an island, where he would starve to death.  

The sailor didn't like that idea, but he was smart and he was king, at least for a year.  

The sailor/king put carpenters to work making boats.  He put his farmers to work transplanting fruit trees to the island.  He had farmers go out to plant crops on the island and masons to build houses.  

So when his kingship ended, he was banished not to a barren island, but to an island of abundance.

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Adam CopelandAdam Copeland serves as director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders.

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