Story 1 - Lianhua.
Now, among the people was a young girl whom the people had named, Lianhua. She had come from a long line of families who were renowned for their wisdom. It was natural, therefore, that the people came to her for advise in their endeavor to resolve the paradox. "What must we do?" they asked. "How do we get out of this trap? We have moved into a land that turned out to be poisoned. How do we survive?"
The girl replied that the answer is simple. If the land is poisoned, it needs to be cleansed. "We cannot allow our lives to be poisoned," she explained.
"But how do we do this?" they asked.
"That's simple, too," the girl answered. "If the poison flows from the monks who do not wish to work, we have to uplift them to where they can discover themselves as human beings, like we have come to know ourselves."
"That's easily said," said the elder of the people, named Mogao. "Who are we to accomplish a thing like that? We have no experience in the matter. We are farmers and fishermen, and builders. Who are we to teach the monks?"
"We are human beings," said the girl, Lianhua. "We don't need to teach anything. This is what we will do. We will treat the monks as if they already were what we want them to be, because that is what they are in reality, whether they acknowledge this or not. And in order to accomplish that, we must treat one another even more consciously in the same manner."
"And how shall that be?" asked the elder, Mogao.
Here the girl laughed. "I cannot decide this for you. I am not your king. You must decide this for yourself."
Mogao declared that Lianhua had wisely spoken. He stated that he understood now what was required. He suggested that they should all come together in seven days, and on every seventh day thereafter, to convene a council to explore among themselves whatever it was that they valued the most, both about themselves and about the way they were treating one another. He called this meeting together a constitutional council in which they all would declare to themselves the highest principles that they have come to understand and to respect as a community, a community based on constitutional principles.
The girl Lianhua agreed that this was the proper path to pursue.
So it was that in seven days time the first constitutional council convened. At this session they all acknowledged to each other that they would not have survived long as a people, if they had not supported one another in all of their endeavors. They realized that as farmers and fishermen, and builders, not one of them could have accomplished in isolation, what they had accomplished for each other by working together to enrich their world and everyone's life with it. They all acknowledged that. Thus, they made a declaration that working together for the common good would be their first constitutional principle that would govern the community from this day forward, for all times to come.
During the next session they realized that as a human being, a person deserves to be honored. They declared that this honoring must never become an empty gesture, but must always reflect an honest recognition of a person's worth, strength, beauty, kindness, love, including all of the other qualities that has bound the community together as one single whole.
The girl Lianhua pointed out that she realized that honoring one another has brought light into everyone's lives, that it has helped everyone one to love themselves more fully, and thus to love one another more honestly.
All the people agreed with that assessment. They recognized themselves to be highly capable people, so that the implementation of this second declaration of honoring one another shouldn't pose a problem either, not then, and not for all times to come, because of the beauty that it had brought into their lives, which outweighed all the efforts they made towards attaining it.