A lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands.
Her mum came in and softly asked her little daughter with a smile: my sweetie, could you give your mum one of your two apples? The girl looked up at her mum for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly on the other.
The mum felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment. Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mum, and said: mummy, here you are. This is the sweeter one.
Source: Munira Dhamani, The Thank You Bell
(Educreation Publishing; 1 edition, 2015) page 24
No matter who we are, how experienced we are, and how knowledgeable we think we are, it is always wise to delay judgment, not to quickly jump to conclusions, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and the opportunity to explain themselves.
The story is told that one day Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, visited a prison and talked with each of the inmates. There were endless tales of innocence, or misunderstood motives, and of exploitation. Finally the king stopped at the cell of a convict who remained silent.
“Well,” remarked Frederick, “I suppose you are an innocent victim too?”
“No, sir, I’m not,” replied the man. “I’m guilty and deserve my punishment.”
Turning to the warden, the king said, “Here, release this rascal before he corrupts all these fine innocent people in here!”
Source | William T. Golosn Jr, On the Matter of Relationships
(Xulon Press, 2007) page 216
Paul W. Powell once observed, “Pride is so subtle that if we aren’t careful we’ll be proud of our humility.”
When this happens our goodness becomes badness. Our virtues become vices. We can easily become like the Sunday School teacher who, having told the story of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14), said, ‘Children, let’s bow our heads and thank God we are not like the Pharisee!’
An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukaemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.
The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl’s IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, “How soon until I start to die?”
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- We have to learn how to die before we die so that when we die we won’t die!
- Dying is about giving, giving your life! Rarely is one asked to give up his own life for someone else. Yet, we are invited daily to make decisions to love and forgive one another. This withholding of judgement, giving the benefit of the doubt, unconditional forgiveness are all part of the “dying before we die”.
- Fullness of life is about giving. Giving freely to the world, what has been given to us – to give. Giving with childlike innocence.