There was an old woman who would climb up to this small church with a small bag clutched in her hand. After saying her prayers, she would sit on the stairs, take out a blue stone from her small bag, look at it for some time and then move back. A young boy would see her every day. He was attracted towards that blue stone. On Christmas day, he went to the old woman and wished her.
“God bless you. What do I give you?” she asked.
“I want the blue stone that you have.” He blurted out.
Within a second, the lady handed over the blue stone to the boy. The bag was empty after that. The boy was ecstatic to receive the stone and rushed back home. Christmas and the blue stone kept him in high spirits throughout the day. At night, he kept the blue stone under his pillow and went off to sleep. Sleep eluded him that night.
Perturbed, he went to the church next morning. The old lady was climbing up as usual. He rushed to her.
“I want something from you”, he said.
She smiled and pointed at the empty bag.
“No, I want your feeling because of which you gifted the only precious possession you had. Please give me that valuable feeling” he requested.
She smiled. “I have many precious possessions that I can give you”, she said. “A smile, a helping hand, a blessing“.
It is difficult to give away whatever is precious to us. Values and valuables – can be and should be shared.
In today’s time, it is difficult to give time, concern and attention. Rather than giving likes and comments on social media, how nice it will be to give some real time to our children without mobiles in our hand.
Rather than compiling presentations full of jargon and feel good data, how valuable it will be to give some real empathy and human attention to our colleagues.
The art of giving and receiving is becoming scarce. Giving with happiness and receiving with gratefulness are a depleting phenomenon. Let us learn to develop an attitude of giving and gratitude.
Donating and giving are different. Donating is easier as we give what we have enough of. If we give what we don’t have enough, we give a bit of ourselves in the form of our time, concern and empathy. That will be a real gift.
Receiving with gratitude is to remember it eternally. We should not want to return a help or a favour to the same person who extended it to us. We should try to at least give it to someone who needs it. A chain of giving and receiving binds all of us together. Let us start today.