Copyright Jerry K. Bedrick
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
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."
I think we understand this lesson best when we receive innocent gifts of
love from young children. Whether it's a ceramic tray or a macaroni
bracelet, the natural and proper response is appreciation and expressed
thankfulness because we love the idea within the gift.
Gratitude doesn't always come naturally. Unfortunately, most children and
many adults value only the thing given rather than the feeling embodied in
it. We should remind ourselves and teach our children about the beauty and
purity of feelings and expressions of gratitude. After all, gifts from the
heart are really gifts of the heart.
Taken from http://www.insightoftheday.com