There is no Free Lunch !

There was once a Chinese emperor who assembled a few of his most trusted ministers and issued this

command: “Travel throughout the world, gather all the wisdom you can find, and assemble it in one place

here in the royal city.” The ministers set off, north, south, east and west, accompanied by soldiers, servants,

carriages and provisions. Years passed until one by one they returned, hauling behind them caravans of

books and scrolls. A vast library was constructed, covering many acres, and the world’s wisdom was carefully

sorted and stored on its miles of shelves. One fine day, the emperor was invited to a grand opening of the

collection. He stepped into the library, gazed this way and that, and sighed. “I may be emperor, but I’m a

mortal man. How will I ever be able to read even a fraction of this great treasure? I need you to reduce it to

something more… manageable.”

Crestfallen, the ministers recruited teams of scholars who set about pouring through the great tomes and

parchments, selecting, editing, simplifying and distilling the material. After ten years had passed, they were

ready to present the result to the emperor. Proudly, they invited him to a single room, lined with books from

floor to ceiling, all the way around. The emperor stared at the book-lined walls, and sighed. “Ten years ago,”

he said, “I would have been contented to shut myself in this room and spend my remaining years reading all

these wonderful texts. But alas, the candle of my life is burning low. You must reduce this further.”

Exasperated, the ministers doubled their army of scholars and set them to work scoring through the books

for the most essential wisdom each had to offer. Five years of grueling labor followed, and the ministers

were ready for the emperor again. By now, he was too feeble to move, and they brought their results to his

palace on a large red cushion. It was a single book, entitled “All the Wisdom of the World.” The emperor

smiled weakly, and began to thumb through its hundreds of closely written pages. He sighed again. “Too

much, too much. Don’t you see that my days on this earth are numbered? Reduce this again.”

The ministers withdrew with their massive book, and for the next 100 days and nights they labored, with

barely a pause or a short nap, to do the emperor’s bidding. On the 101st day, they anxiously ascended the

palace steps and approached the emperor’s throne, led by the chief minister. In his hands, he carried a small,

exquisitely carved jade box. Bowing low, he presented the little chest. With trembling hands, the emperor

raised the beautiful jade lid. Inside the box, he found a single square of parchment. Lifting it close to his

failing eyes, he discovered that it was inscribed with just five words:

“There Is No Free Lunch.”

The emperor smiled, sank back in his throne, and expired.

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Are you still going to wait on the sidelines waiting for free lunch or are you going to be an action taker ? If so start now before its too late. The choice is yours…

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