Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Gift From Heart

According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher.

After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.

Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: "Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?"

The teacher replied, "You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter. Heartfelt gifts deserve the return gift of gratitude."

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Recall the time when you actually received a gift from innocent, young children. How do you feel at that time? What about the present? Was it a big, expensive present? Most likely not, isn't it?

However, even though the present is small and almost insignificant to you in terms of its value, you are still over the moon when you received the present isn't it?

I still remember the time when I volunteered myself as a tutor for a bunch of lovable kids, aiding them in their preparation their PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination).

At that time, those children were from families which which were not so well off and they required additional help in their studies. For 6 months or so, my few friends and I went to their school, twice a week (if I didn't remember wrongly) to give them tuition.

Eventually, the day of their examinations drew near, so did ours, thus from then on, we lost contact with the kids, each went on to do our very best for our own school examinations.

It was until one day when I received a letter from one of the kids updating me about the status of their results and along with it came a little notebook and several cute looking erasers.

To be frank, those little gifts were of no great value or use to me. However, even so, to say I was really exhilarated at that time was truly an understatement.

It was no longer the value of the gift which I was looking for at that time. Instead, what I saw was something more valuable, more precious than what I was hoping for. A true gift from the heart.

Therefore next time when you receive a gift, think not only about the value and usefulness of it. It may be just a key chain or a cute looking desktop accessory out of your whole box of them. Still, those gifts are bought and given to you out of the givers' love, concern and remembrance of you.

Appreciating, showing gratitude and thankfulness for the goodwilll embodied within your received gifts truly delights the giving party.

The true gift from the heart can only be felt through the heart, not anything less.

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