Once upon a time there was a small village called Sanctionary located deep in the forest. There lived a family of four: father, mother, and two kids, a brother and a sister. The father of the family was a local farmer, and the mother was a seamstress who sewed clothes for the villagers.
The brother and sister would spend their days playing around the village and exploring the nearby woods. One day, while out exploring, the two siblings stumbled across a strange looking cave. Intrigued, they decided to investigate and found that it was full of mysterious stones, each one with a different color, shape, and size.
The brother and sister had no idea what these stones were, but they decided to take a few of them home with them anyway. When they got back home, their parents were very angry. Their father explained to them how these stones were special and how they could be used as a form of punishment. He called it “sanctionary”.
The father went on to explain that when someone in the village did something wrong, they would be given a stone of a certain color. This color would represent the severity of the crime and the number of stones they needed to return to the cave. The more severe the crime, the more stones they would need to return before the punishment was considered complete.
The brother and sister were both filled with fear and dread. They never wanted to be punished in such a way and vowed never to break the rules again.
For the next few years, the family lived in peace and harmony, never having to use sanctionary as a form of discipline. However, one day the younger sibling got into a fight with another child in the village. Knowing it was wrong, the child gathered up enough courage to turn himself in and asked his father to punish him using sanctionary.
When his father saw how brave and honest his son was, he was proud and decided to not use sanctionary. Instead he told the child,
“Son, I am proud of you for coming forward, and you don’t need sanctionary to be punished. Choose another path, one that will bring you peace and happiness instead of pain and suffering.”
The moral of this story is that sometimes, choosing a different path, one that leads to understanding and compassion, can give us a greater reward than anything else. We should strive to choose paths that bring us closer to ourselves and those around us, and learn how to forgive and give second chances, instead of punishing and closing ourselves off.