“Welcome to your coronation!” calls Casper, again.
Together, Casper, Daniel and you walk into a vast atrium filled with flowers, trees, plants, waterfalls and a brook. A small string orchestra plays from a balcony above a crowded veranda. Dozens and dozens of people, who have just completed the same journey, are milling about. There is a buzz of excitement in the air. A large banquet is in preparation and suddenly you spot your wizard standing to the side. You rush to greet him.
“Congratulations on your conquest!” wizard laughs.
“I am so happy you are here!” you say.
“I would’t miss it. This has indeed been a long road. Now, you shall receive your crown!”
“The Crown of Password Prowess.” you add.
A Quick Review
“Indeed. You have learned so much. Now that you understand that the Black Knight is your friend and that he is protecting you, perhaps it will not be so easy to loose heart when he shows up in the future. I want to remind you that User Names and passwords go together and that it is aways important to be absolutely sure to which realm you are speaking. As you recall, sometimes it might be your local realm… your computer, that is asking for a password, sometimes it is a foreign realm such as the iTunes store that is making the request.”
“Wizard, I’ll be vigilant.” you insist.
“Yes. Remember too, the dialog boxes always carry a clue as to who is asking. You now know that if you really get stuck, you may reset passwords, though you may never find out what they originally were. You now clearly understand that there is a Root user account and that in the worst of situations, you may seize his power and make password changes that would otherwise be impossible. You also know that it is possible to create good strong passwords with memorable themes. These things are all important, if not vital.”
“I can’t wait to install “One Password.” you exclaim.
“That will be a fine addition.” wizard replies. “But there is the one lingering challenge you will face as you return to your realm.”
“What is that?”
“The man in the monitor, you! Do you remember when I asked you about the curious ability of a computer to pull such emotions from your heart?”
You nod reluctantly.
“In so many cases, it is our emotions that stop us from conquering the Black Knight. We get offended, then angry, then determined, then frustrated and finally quit. Never let your emotions cloud your ability to use your new found wisdom. There is always a way out.”
“A line is forming at the stage. Please take your place with the throng.” wizard motions.
Hastily, you enter the line that leads up to the platform, where a priest is crowning other victors. You suddenly notice that your squires are absent! Taken back, you look around the atrium, a slight panic in your chest. Casper and Daniel had become so close to you in such a very short time. With them, you felt protected. You felt secure. Why would they leave at this time? Had something come up? Was it simply their job to see you safely to the coronation?
“Wizard,” you gulp. “Where are Casper and Daniel?”
“In time. Stay focused.” comes the reply.
You did not realize that you were next in line!
“It is with great honor that I present this particular crown of Password Prowess.” the priest begins. “If it were not for you, my friend, none of these other people would be here!”
“What!” you gasp. “Why? What… what do you mean?”
“Yeah, dude!” the priest nods. “You see, all of these people are the ones who have been following you since the beginning. They have been reading your story and they all stand in gratitude for the way you have persevered. They love the things they have learned through you. You will be esteemed throughout history because of the quest you have now completed!”
With this, there is a massive applause as the crown is placed on your head. It is larger and more brilliant than the others. Suddenly, you realize that you were actually the last one in line. All eyes are on you, each filled with gratitude and admiration. What an amazing feeling comes over you! It has been years since you have felt such joy, knowing your perseverance has blessed so many. This is wonderful. Suddenly, you realize that this is what wizard meant, when he made his comment about the people who would learn from your pain. The words “more than you know” echo in your mind.
For the next few hours, you are able to meet many people who have been impacted by your adventure. Many promise to email you from their realms. The shared stories of frustrations and failures and overcoming flow freely from the lips of your admirers. The food and wine were superb! Nothing quite this exquisite could have been cooked up in your realm… but, it’s now time to go. What an amazing adventure!
The Return Home
Catching wizard’s eye, you nod and he beckons you to follow. You make your “good byes” and head toward a door the wizard is now standing beside. You turn to look at the crowd, one last time and it erupts once again in grateful applause. Many wave good bye.
“This is the door which will lead to your own realm. Your journey has been real but when you pass through this door, you will instantly find yourself sitting in front of your computer, right where you left off but this time, as you know, the Black Knight has been vanquished. Never forget, I will always be available as you call for MacHelp. Have you had a good time?”
“Yes. Yes I have.” you reply. “Better than good, I think. It’s something I needed. Something to make me grow.”
“That’s wonderful to hear. Where there is no learning, there is no growth and where there is no growth there is only death and decay. Keep learning.” wizard says, wagging his finger in the air.
With this, wizard knocks on the door with his staff. The door swings open and you enter the corridor. Suddenly an ominous figure stands before you.
“None shall pass!” comes the powerful and dreadful call.
Once again, the Black Knight stands before you, forbidding you entrance to your own realm!
“Quick! Where’s your journal.” Wizard queries in excited tones.
You dig into your satchel bottom. Bracelet! Quill! Journal! You hastily scramble for the password you had written down back in the Answers Garden.
“None shall pass!” comes the giant again.
Wizard pulls you close as if for protection or reassurance. Leaning down, he whispers in your ear. “I forgot to tell you. Caspian and Daniel were promoted!”
Following the direction of his pointing finger, you look up into the lifted mask of the Knight. It’s Daniel!
“So sorry m’ lord. Couldn’t help myself!
A hearty laughter ensues from everyone. It is so good to see your friend again!
“Friend.” you think to yourself. “I have just thought of a Black Knight as a friend, for the very first time”
“Where is Caspian.. er Casper? you ask.
“He is waiting in your realm.” Daniel says. “He has been assigned to a grand task by Root himself.” He has become your new localhost gate keeper. You will see him soon.”
“Now m’lord. Be my guest… and happy computing!” Daniel says with outstretched arm — inviting you to step over a threshold. You shake hands with your wizard. Is that a tear? Daniel grabs you in a bear hug. The new armor rattles. He sets you down again and you turn toward the threshold. You are ready.
As you step forward, the hallway vanishes and you are sitting once again in front of your computer. After what seems like hours, staring at your computer screen, you rock backward in your chair.
“I think it’s been a pretty good day!” you say out loud, nodding with a new understanding. Your quest if complete, your crown is secure. You have new and powerful knowledge. Never again will you be thwarted by the frustrations of losing or forgetting your passwords. You have been hardened in the fires of Password Purgatory and have successfully attained the Crown of Password Prowess! Never did you imagine that your quest would bless so many people. But it has… and it still does.
By the way, that faint sound you hear in the distance… it’s all of us applauding!
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