The story is told of a king who had a silver bell placed in a high tower of his palace early in his reign. He announced that he would ring the bell whenever he was happy so that his subjects would know of his joy.

The people listened for the sound of that silver bell, but it remained silent. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years. But no sound of the bell rang out to indicate that the king was happy.

The king grew old and gray, and eventually he lay on his deathbed in the palace. As some of his weeping subjects gathered around him, he discovered that he had really been loved by his people all through the years. At last the king was happy. Just before he died, he reached up and pulled the rope that rang the silver bell.

Think of it—a lifetime of unhappiness because he didn’t know that he was warmly loved and accepted by his loyal subjects.

Like that monarch, many lonely souls live out their days without the joy of knowing they are loved and appreciated by others. Do you know people who need an encouraging word? If so, tell them how much they mean to you. It may be just what’s needed to bring joy into their lives.