Sunday, September 06, 2009

"Gifts"

Years ago, I heard of a Spiritual Guru from India who visited the slums of Calcutta.

He would walk from one dire home to the next, viewing tradegy and heartache at every turn.

One "home," in particular, caught his attention.

It certainly wasn't a "home" as we define or enjoy it here, on the average, in America.

It was a hut. A mud hut, with dirt for floors.

In any case, the Spiritual Guru was invited inside this dismal dwelling by a beautiful and loving-kind family, one member of whom included a beautiful 12-year girl with the gentlest of souls.

She was so excited that her family to be visited by this particular Spiritual Guru. She knew she had to present him with a gift of some kind.

Surely, she had no funds with which to purchase this gift, so she was merely left to choose from her current possessions. And even that collection, of course, was skimpy. In fact, she only had one possession:

A small photo of an Indian Saint for which she had the highest regard.

So, when the Spiritual Guru visited her home, the young girl ran into her room, and lifted the photo of the Indian Saint off of her bedroom "wall," and gave it to the visiting Spiritual Guru.

The Spiritual Guru was touched by the young girl's gift, but could not accept it, knowing it was not just her prize possession, but one of her only possessions.

Yet, after he declined the gift, and saw the hurt in the young girl's eyes, he knew he had to immediately change his mind - and accept this young girl's treasure.

He knew it was more important for her to give him her gift, then for him to refuse it. Her joy of giving outweighed his initial inability to receive.

Truly...who is the most "gifted"? The Spiritual Guru, who ultimately received a young child's most precious possession?

The Indian Saint who, even with just his image, brought the lesson of giving to two earthly souls?

Or the young girl who not only knew how to give, but how to give-UP her only true possession - for what she believed was contributing to the complete and utter joy of another - without there being anything in it for her....including a tax-write off?

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