Daily Archives: Saturday, 04 September 2010

An architect’s last palace

An architect's last palace

From Teaching Stories II:

An excellent architect lovingly built many beautiful palaces for the Sultan. Eventually he was tired of his labor and went to the Potentate and asked if he could retire. The great king asked the architect to build him one last palace. He said, “Money is absolutely no object. You have one year to build me the best palace possible.”

The architect started eagerly, but he was exhausted and soon he started to do shoddy work. He cut a corner here and there. After all, this was his last project and no one would notice. He used cheaper materials since he could not be bothered to search for the best. After all, who would notice? Only he could tell the difference. Bit by bit, the architect did less than his best. Eventually, even though no one else could tell the difference, the architect knew that this palace was no where near his best. However, he was still pleased that it was complete and at last he could retire.

The year had passed and the architect presented his substandard work to the Sultan. The Sultan inspected the palace and was well pleased. When the inspection was over, he turned to the architect and said, “You have done well. This is my retirement gift to you.”