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He lived with His values at his side, and Bill was a prosperous man…” Everyone has read or seen the historic original or a spin of the following story in which a young man becomes the successful hero. Versions of this narrative are found throughout antiquity.

In this contemporary version, our protagonist is a young man, well educated as a Ph.D. from a laudable A&M university.  Bill found his foreign research activity ill-fated as his unfortunate bodyguard and jungle guide lay nearby, mortally wounded. Bound by his captors, Bill was sold into the underground economy, and slavery. The reed mat of his bedding served little comfort on the hard dirt floor of a dank mud brick hut in which he spent his first night. Peering skyward through the sliver-wide openings in the thatched roof, he listened for clues regarding his pending fate. He recognized the local dialect, but heard nothing of significance. Eventually succumbing to fatigue, he slept, relieved at being alive. The following morning he found that he would soon be sent to work the crops. Accustomed to life in the fields, the tall, chiseled and bronzed agronomist offered some words of insight to his captor regarding overwhelmingly failing crops covering the vast acreage.

With animosity well-hidden, Bill diligently served his captor, a prosperous but unlearned businessman named Rami. Days became weeks, evolving into many months. With his guidance crops flourished and related commerce thrived. However, as time passed, and to Bill’s chagrin, a beautiful local maiden paid far too much attention to him and his work. Being the captor-owner’s daughter, she would not allow him to ignore her completely. Forcing substantial indifference towards her, on numerous occasions he suggested that she simply move on to the melon fields to which her father assigned her. Incensed by repeated rebuffs, she eventually alleged to her father that Bill tried to take advantage of her under cover of tall, maturing grain. She wailed and howled relentlessly as if both forlorn and indignant. Yet, her father knew the truth, having both spoken to Bill as well as previously noting his daughter frolicking in the groves. Of course, she repeatedly claimed the staff to be simply helping her attend to her fruit. Unfortunately, she persisted with relentless, public accusations, so the compromised Rami was obliged to save face by incarcerating Bill in a nearby prison.

Kilu, mayor of the neighboring small city, ran most of the region’s business ventures with prisoners. It was not long before his foremen engaged Bill’s assistance by which they improved their agricultural output and net trade volume. Pleased, Kilu aspired for even more, although neither he nor his managers were able to devise effective strategies. Languishing, Kuli met Rami quite serendipitously on an occasion of a business meeting at which Kilu shared his frustrations. Smiling, Rami responded by asking the mayor if he was aware that Kuli’s recent commercial success was facilitated by his prisoner, Bill. Laterthat day Bill was called to Kilu’s office and released. Together, over time they came to run the entire island nation.

With persistence Bill became a most prodigious asset and prosperous business leader. Bill simply honored and served well those to whom he was subordinate, even in adverse circumstances. As he applied himself right where he was, he rose to the top.

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