Stories connect us to the time-tested wisdom of the world's peoples--and teach spiritual and moral lessons we want to pass on to our kids. Each week, Beliefnet will present a spiritual story from a different faith tradition, followed by simple activities that bring the message home. We invite you to share the stories with your children, do the activities together, and make "Teaching Tales" a joyous part of family life.

Reprinted with permission from "How the Children Became Stars" by Aaron Zerah, published by Sorin Books.

It is told in India that Lord Krishna wished to see if the kings of his land were wise. So he called first a king named Duryodana.

Duryodana was known as a cruel man and the people in his kingdom feared him. Lord Krishna told Duryodana that he was to take a journey throughout the lands. "I want you," Lord Krishna said, "to look for one truly good person for me."

Duryodana obeyed Lord Krishna and began his travels. He found many different kinds of people and spoke to them about many things. After a long time away, Duryodana returned to Lord Krishna and said, "Lord, I have done what you commanded me and looked the whole world over for one truly good soul. Such a person I could not find. Each one I met was selfish and evil-minded. A truly good person cannot be found anywhere!"

Lord Krishna sent Duryodana on his way and called King Dhammaraja to see him. Dhammaraja was known as a kind man who tried to help people in his kingdom, who loved him very much. Lord Krishna said to King Dhammaraja, "I want you to journey throughout all the lands and find me one truly evil person."

Dhammaraja said, "As you wish, my Lord," and like Duryodana he set off on a long journey.

After much time had passed, Dhammaraja came to Lord Krishna and said, "My Lord, I have not brought back the one truly evil person you wished to see. I found that people make mistakes; I found that they are fooled by others; I found that they act as if they are blind. But I could not find a truly evil person. The people are all good in their hearts!"

Bringing It Home

To Do This Week

  • When you are going to meet a group of new people, what do you think? How do you feel?
  • Tell a story about when someone new moved into your neighborhood or first came to your school or workplace.
  • Tell someone in your family about how you thought there was something bad about her or him that now you see differently.
  • Imagine you are King Duryodana. When you went back to your kingdom, what would you do?
  • Today, think of a time when each family member helped you. Then, shake the hand of each person in your family and say, "You are a good person. Thank you for being there and helping me."
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