the man who made paradise

The Man Who Made Paradise

Once upon a time, a boy was born in the kingdom of Oosah. His name was Justin. When Justin turned seven, his father took him to a hermit who lived in a cave on the top of Mt. Neverest. According to tradition, Justin shall ask the hermit a lifetime question.

“What about paradise?” Justin asked the hermit.

The hermit laid his hand on Justin’s chest and said, “You shall battle to make paradise.”

The hermit’s answer burned strong in Justin’s heart. Back home, he made a beautiful garden. He showed it to his friends, but they laughed. “That’s nice, but not paradise!”

When Justin turned sixteen, he worked as a gardener in the central park. He made it as beautiful as he possibly could. He showed it to his friends, but they shook their heads again, “It’s beautiful, but it’s not paradise, Justin.”

Justin remembered the hermit’s words, “You shall battle to create paradise.” He joined the army of Oosah and rose in rank until he became general. Once a warlord, he overthrew the king. Once king, he built gardens and parks everywhere according to his designs. He declared by law that these gardens and parks are paradises. The people of Oosah cursed him but complied eventually. “He’s just building parks, it could be worse.”

Justin’s heart remained restless. People’s home should be paradise too, he thought and declared by law that every house should have a garden according to his designs. The people of Oosah demonstrated but surrendered to Justin’s forces eventually.

Justin’s heart remained restless. “I should make paradises in other kingdoms too.” And so he took his forces to other kingdoms. “I bring peace, freedom, and paradise,” he told the kingdoms he conquered. He built parks and gardens in everywhere and forced all families to have a garden according to his designs.

The people of other kingdoms beat their chests. “So many men died in the war for Justin’s gardens,” they cried, but what could they do? The people of Oosah mourned their losses too, but at least they could be proud that Justin, the warlord of paradise, was one of them.

Although Justin conquered the known world and established his paradise everywhere, his heart remained restless. In fact, it felt more restless than ever. “Why am I not happy after I turned Earth into paradise? Are my designs wrong? Is something wrong with my heart? Did I not battle enough?”

Justin decided to visit the hermit on Mt. Neverest.

“Why do I still feel restless after I battled for paradise on earth?” he asked the hermit.

“I’m not supposed to answer two questions.”

“Tell me or I will go to war with heaven too and make my paradise there!”

“Alright, I answer, I answer.”

The hermit took his time to gather the right words. At last he said, “I put my hand on your chest, remember? The struggle for paradise is an inner struggle. God made the earth, it’s already perfect. Who are you to improve it?”

“What is paradise then, hermit?”

“Paradise is a mind at peace.”

“But … who was I supposed to battle?”

“Your fears and ambitions, of course.”

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