DOUG THE DRAGON LEARNS ABOUT HIS INNER-HONESTY
The town gathers as the steeple bell rings.
“Hear ye, hear ye. We have a new arrival” announces Mayor Doyen of Wingville. “Meet our youngest dragon. His name is Doug.”
From behind a velvet curtain, with wide-eyed curiosity, Doug timidly steps out. The community cheers. “Hooray! Hoorah! Welcome, Doug, Welcome!”
“Wave hello, Doug, “ whispers Doyen. “This is your community. This is where you’ll grow your wings.”
“My wings?” asks Doug.
“Why yes,” the Mayor smiles. ”They’re a very significant part of who you are. The larger the wings, the higher you’ll fly.”
“I get to fly?” exclaims Doug.
Pleased with his enthusiasm, Mayor Doyen says, “Let’s go for a walk.” They step off the platform and stroll along the water’s edge. “Yes, you will fly. How high you soar is up to you. Wings require courage and a very specific ingredient.”
Doug tugs on his coattails, “Please tell me, Mayor, what is the ingredient?”
 LIVE YOUR INNER-HONEST
The Mayor kneels down and cups Doug’s face with the pads of his front paws. “As you grow in stature, so must your wings. Strong and healthy wings require the noble trait of honesty.”
“What is honesty?” Doug was unsure of what Doyen was saying.
The Mayor responds as they stroll the oceanside path. “Honesty is choosing to be sincere without deceit. It will take some time to learn these big words.”
“Those aren’t big words.” Doug, being an earnest dragon, pulls his shoulders back and adds, “That’s easy to say!”
The Mayor smiles. “It’s one thing to know how to say the words, it’s another to live them every day. You’ll be tested many times.” Doyen picks up a stone and throws it into the ocean. “What do you see? What did that pebble do?”
Doug says, “Look at all those ring-waves!”
“That’s right. Those rings are called a ripple effect.” Doyen continues speaking as the rings expand. “How could such a small stone create such a big impact on this vast ocean? Just like that pebble, honesty has the same impact. Your first, and most important, lesson is to choose to live honestly within you. Once you’ve mastered that, it will ripple into the world around you.”
Mayor Doyen continues, “The lessons you will learn are just like the ripples you see. Where the pebble dropped in the water, that’s your Inner-Honest, and it abides in your heart. The next ring is Be Sincere, and the next ring is Without Deceit.”
The Mayor draws a phrase in the sand, “May your inner-honest be sincere and without deceit.” Doyen continues, “And may your wings grow bigger than you ever imagined!”
Doyen could see the little dragon losing interest. “Let’s play a game. I’m going to ask you three riddles. For every correct answer, I want you to throw a stone into the sea and make a ripple.”
“That sounds fun!” exclaims Doug.
The Mayor begins, “Riddle number one: The most esteemed of all honesty begins in each inner-dragon. We call that your…?”
“I know this one! Your HEART!” Doug yells out his answer, picks up a pebble and, with a flick of his wrist, makes his first ocean ripple.
“Well done!” celebrates Mayor Doyen. “It’s not what you say to people that merits you an honest person. More importantly, ask yourself, does my heart abide with my words?”
“What’s the next clue?” Doug enjoys the game.
“Riddle number two: What is the difference between genuine truth and defensive truth?” asks Doyen.
Doug taps his claw on his forehead, “Let me think about that one.” He pauses. “I think defensive sounds like you want to protect something or you’re afraid dragons won’t like what you say.”
“Very good. What else?”, the Mayor smiles warmly.
“Hmm,” Doug thinks some more. “I think being genuine is when your honesty is pleasant to listen to.”
“I’m so proud of you. Yes, that’s correct. In other words, it’s called being sincere.” Mayor Doyen ruffles the little dragon’s hair, “Throw another pebble. Make another ripple effect.”
Doug says, “I’m going to see if I can make six rings with this stone!” He aims at the waters, tilts his wrist, and with a short swing, Doug creates a remarkable ripple effect.
“Ready for riddle number three?” The Mayor calls out to Doug. “A dragon neighbour needs a loaf of bread and I only have one slice. But I say, ‘Sure, I’ll give you a loaf of bread’. In my inner-honest I know I only have a slice of bread, what is that called?
“Well, aren’t you lying to the dragon?,” says Doug.
“What if I really want to give my neighbour a loaf of bread? What if I might be able to find a loaf to give my fellow dragon?“ asks Doyen.
“But it’s not true, Mayor Doyen. You don’t have a loaf of bread! Why not just say I don’t have a loaf of bread, I only have a slice?” Doug closes his eyes and took a moment to think. “Maybe it’s not the dragon you’re lying to. Maybe you’re lying to yourself. Maybe you want to make the other dragon happy, and you’re afraid to disappoint your neighbour because you know they really want a loaf of bread. You want to give them what they want.”
The Mayor shares, “When you truly live from your inner-honest you won’t misrepresent your truthfulness. A famous teacher once spoke about a widowed dragon who had but a few slices of bread to give at the potluck. There, beside her, was a very prominent dragon who gave many loaves of bread. What the widow gave was all she had, and, guess what?”
Full of curiosity Doug responds, “Tell me, please.”
“The dragon community watched her with great admiration. There’s a precious wonderment in Wingville. When you only give what you have, dragons somehow know it, and they recognize you’re doing something with sincerity, from your inner-honest. Know your sincere honesty, do not misrepresent your heart. A simple way to explain deceit is when you want to hide something that lives in your heart, and you’re afraid to express it. In Wingville, we have a rhyme to help us remember. Demonstrate sincere honesty, without deceiving you or me.” The Mayor looks at Doug, “Time to throw another pebble!”
Doug picks up a stone and takes several steps back. He flicks his wrist, runs towards the water and releases the rock, “One, two, three…nine, ten!… fifteen, sixteen!! Sixteen ripples!!”
The Mayor was delighted. “Do you see? Do you see what just took place? Just like the ripples keep growing every time you throw a pebble, when you choose to live from your inner-honest your wings will grow stronger, you will soar higher and you will fly freely.”
Doug’s eyes brighten. “I want to soar way up past the clouds.” He then reaches out and grabs hold of the Mayor’s wings, “I bet you fly very, very high!”
 FEAR DOES NOT HELP DRAGON WINGS GROW
Doyen felt a special affection for this little dragon, “I guess I can fly somewhat high. My wings could be much bigger. There was a time in my life I was very worried about what others would think of me. Do they approve of my life, what I do, what I say? Will they accept me the way I am? If I share my inner-honest will they reject me or judge me?”
“That’s a lot of questions!” Doug gave Doyen an exhausting look.
“I agree!” chuckles the Mayor. “I cared more about how people perceived me, and about gaining their acceptance, than I did about my inner-honest. I wanted to fit in so badly that I stopped growing my wings. No one asked me to be someone I wasn’t. It was my fear that kept me from living my inner-honest, not dragons. Remember the rhyme? Demonstrate sincere honesty, without deceiving you or me. It was me, deceiving me. I was afraid, Doug. Life is very short for us dragons. You are born for a reason. Disregarding your life as secondary or lesser than other dragons will certainly keep wings from growing.”
“Can’t you go to the dragon clinic and ask them to fix your wings, to help them grow bigger?” asks Doug.
“No, Doug. Only I can grow my wings. The longing to have those magnificent wings is a quest I will continue to pursue. My past mistakes become very important learning lessons. Fear is the only hindrance in how high a dragon can soar.”
Doyen continues, “Beware of fear! It will tempt you to feel secondary or lure you to go along with what others want you to be. Don’t hide who you are Doug, nor your words.”
“My words?” Doug looks confused. “What do my words have to do with it?”
“An honest heart carries a sincere voice. True dragons are confident when they speak, not so they can win a point of view or prove their self-worth; it’s a quiet inner-confidence, a pleasant voice. It’s knowing that what you share from your heart is valuable and a wonderful contribution to our community.”
Mayor Doyen pulls out a picture from his suit jacket. “Doug, this is Dianne. She’s Wingville’s finest dragon.” He pulls out another photo. “And this is Dianne’s twin sister, Deanna. She has not been able to grow her wings. It’s a difficult journey, one that only she can overcome. We know one day, she too will have the wingspan of a mighty dragon. Some dragons need a bit more time shedding the fear.”
Doug listens intently as the Mayor shares Deanna’s story. He then looks at the photo of Dianne, “Her wingspan must be a bajillion miles long!”
Doyen laughs, “Well, not that long, but her wingspan is the longest of any dragon in Wingville.”
“What does she do to grow her wings?” asks Doug.
“Let’s find out, shall we?.” Doyen flutters his wings and with the sound of a purring roar, he summons for Dianne. In seconds, a shadow casts over the blue open sky, blocking the rays of the sun. Doug looks up, with admiration, as he watches her land close to him.
She lowers her neck to look closely into the eyes of the tiny dragon. “You must be Doug,” she smiles. “Hop aboard, let’s go for a ride!”
Without hesitation, he climbs onto her back, and shouts to Mayor Doyen, “I’ll be right back!”
Dianne winks at the Mayor and launches into the sky, like a rocket shooting to the moon.
The view was spectacular. The wind was warm on Doug’s face. He breathes in the clean, fresh air. He closes his eyes and stretches out his small simple wings, pretending he was the one flying.
Above the clouds they soar, zooming down into the valleys of the snow capped mountains, playfully darting through the flock of geese flying in v-formation, and waving hello to the eagles peacefully gliding. Indeed, Wingville is so beautiful and complete from this high place.
Dianne brought Doug back to the Mayor. He held on to her neck, giving Dianne a big thank you hug. “One day I will fly beside you.”
Dianne warmly looks at Doug, “I look forward to that day.”
“Why are your wings so long?” he asks.
 EVERY DRAGON IS A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO WINGVILLE
Dianne sits down beside Doug and says, “Grow your inner-honest and you will grow your wings. From inside you flows your honest voice and your very best you.”
“The ripple effect!” Doug brightens up.
“Yes, exactly!” She continues, “Every dragon is a wonderful contribution to Wingville, each in their own special way. You are a contributor in Wingville; a very significant and marvelous contributor. If you withhold your inner-honest, then you believe you don’t have something to contribute.”
Dianne adds, “Honest dragons don’t forfeit their inner-honest. Fear is the reason we hide who we are. You’ll meet dragons that will disagree with you, and sometimes even think you’re wrong. And that’s ok, Doug. Don’t take it personally. Listen to their point of view and learn their honest heart; appreciate the differences. Those special differences stretch us and help us grow larger wings.”
“Why do dragons disagree?” asks Doug.
“Oh, it’s quite normal.” Dianne explains. “We’re all one of a kind. No other dragon in Wingville will be able to replicate your unique voice and heart.”
Dianne stands up and flutters her wings. “It’s time for me to go, Doug. Here’s an easy way to remember our conversation: The more you withhold your voice, the less honest you’ll be. The less honest you are, the smaller your wings. The smaller your wings, the less land you will explore and less sky you will soar.”
Doug chimes in, “Demonstrate sincere honesty, without deceiving you or me.”
Dianne brightens up, “Exactly!” With that, she bids farewell to her new little friend and returns to her lair.
Doug takes a stone and throws it into the sea. As the water ripples, he whispers, “One day I’ll have extraordinary wings, too.”
The Mayor smiles, “Let it begin inside you, and from there your wings will grow and grow.”
Karen Thrall | Human Catalyst | Business Coach