The Future Kingdom
The king was not the most powerful person in the kingdom. He controlled the army and the vast majority of wealth, but he himself was controlled. If somebody has great enough influence over the king, they are the one of real importance. In this case, the most powerful person in the kingdom was only 10 days old.
The queen had died giving birth to her only child, a son. The king adored his son and named him Jovo, which he heard meant "future." Above all else, he wanted Jovo to take over a thriving kingdom when it was time. As the territory was currently flourishing, this didn't seem like it would be a problem. But when the king took a walk one day, he realized just because things are one way now, does not mean they will be that way in the future.
"Great, King!" a man shouted as he saw the ruler pass.
The man in tattered clothes spoke of a worry. His job was to carve wooden sculptures, but he feared that in a few years there wouldn't be enough trees for him to provide his service.
"Nonsense," the king declared, "We've never run out of trees before."
Quietly listening, he realized that they were cutting down trees much faster than they were planting them. At this rate, it was unlikely his son's kingdom would have enough trees to burn for warmth, much less for carvings. And so the ruler decreed that, for now, social bonfires would only be held once a month, to help conserve trees. Furthermore, taxes would temporarily be raised to plant more.
Another resident approached the king.
"Oh mighty King!" she called.
The woman with worried wrinkles on her forehead spoke of how she lived in the woods nearby. Lately, she noticed the rare spotted owl had seemingly become even more rate. This lady feared that soon there would be none. Their ruler frowned at the idea that Jovo might never see this beautiful owl. And the king decreed all owl hunting cease immediately.
While the king's latest rules made many of the townspeople happy, others were very upset. Less bonfires and no owl hunting? Why, the king was taking away things they enjoyed doing! They insisted he was a tyrant and was threatening to take all the fun away from the realm.
"I am doing this for our land and our animals," the thoughtful ruler explained, "I am doing this for the future. I am doing this for Jovo."
But the people cared none for future consequences. They didn't realize is leadership isn't about what people want at the moment. It's about what they need for the future. What we do today will affect others long after we're gone.