Often in life we come across various events that, while stemming from above, seem to be so utterly “below.” These negative events that we encounter—not only life-shattering tragedies, but the bothers and pains that we experience throughout our daily existence, the bits of flotsam and jetsam that make treading the waters of life so much harder—leave a mark on us. If not by their individual powers, then by the cumulative effect of their near-constant presence. Every experience, every person we meet contributes to the tapestry of our lives.

Nevertheless, two people may witness the same event, but step away with very different experiences. What breaks one person builds the other.

A king once had a prized jewel, an exquisite diamond. As he held it to the light, perfection glinted from every of its luminous facets. This gem, he felt, would be the crown jewel in his magnificent diadem.

One morning the king awoke, and upon taking out his precious treasure he found, much to his dismay, that there was a single thin crack descending down its face.

The greatest jewelers were called to look at the stone in the hopes of fixing it, but nothing could be done—the crack ran so deeply down the face of the diamond that any effort to remove it would further ruin it.

Finally, one jeweler, a simple man from one of the neighboring villages, stepped forward. He would save the diamond, he claimed.

The king laughed. The greatest craftsmen in the world had seen the gem, and deemed it hopeless; how could this simple jeweler hope to do anything?

Seeing, though, that there was nothing to lose, the king informed the jeweler that he could spend a single night with the diamond. If he managed to fix it, then he would see great reward. If, however, he did not succeed, a bitter lot awaited him.

Locked in his room, the jeweler took a long look at the stone. It was truly magnificent, sparkling like the fire of the sun on the surface of the water. And the crack, however thin, could not be removed without destroying the precious crown jewel in the process. What could be done?

The next morning, the jeweler came out with the the stone in hand, a look of triumph on his face.

When he produced the gemstone, the entire royal court—the queen, the ministers, even the jester—erupted in an uproar. The scratch had not been removed; it remained in its place. The jeweler had instead etched a rose, the symbol of the kingdom, on the face of the diamond, turning the crack into its stem.

The king stood up from his throne and embraced the simple jeweler.

“Now, I truly have my crown jewel!” he said. “The diamond was magnificent until now, the best I had ever seen. It was, however, no different than any other stone. Now, though, I have a truly unique treasure!”