Solomon's Wisdom?

A friend of mine had separated from her partner, under some unpleasant circumstances. When I was consoling her, I was reminded of a story of the biblical king Solomon.

One of Solomon's advisors had a general lack of humility, so Solomon thought that a lesson in humility might be worthwhile. He called in the advisor and said, “There is a magical ring which I wish you to obtain for me. Will you bring it to me within six months?” The advisor agreed but asked for more detail. Solomon said that although he did not know what the ring looked like, he knew that it had the property of changing a person’s mood. If a sad person looked at it, he would become happy, and if a happy person looked at it, he would become sad.

The advisor set out on his quest, asking wise men and wizards of this ring. All replied that they knew nothing about it.

As the deadline approached, the advisor felt subdued and humiliated that he had taken on a task that he could not complete. His face grew long and he sat in the streets, fearing to return to his king empty handed. As he sat, a market stall holder noticed him and went over. He asked what troubled the advisor. After a brief explanation the trader said, “I have such a ring. I will sell it to you when you are sure that it works.” With that, the merchant picked up one of his cheapest rings and engraved it. He passed to the man, who looked at it once and instantly cheered up and bought it.

Solomon sat in his palace, smiling with pleasure at the forthcoming humiliation. In front of all the courtiers, the advisor went to Solomon with the ring and handed it to him.

The court watched the great king’s face fall as he read the words, “It will pass”.