Saturday, December 10, 2011

Giving

The student saved his money for many weeks to buy a gift for his retiring Master. Finally, after much searching, he found and purchased a new fishing rod. He knew how much the old teacher enjoyed fishing, and since he would be leaving soon, it seemed like a perfect idea.

The next day, during a break in their classes, he approached the Master and handed him the gift. The student explained this was his way of saying thank you for all that he learned during his time at the school. The Master reached out, took the rod from the young man's hands, nodded, then turned and walked away.

Surprised by the reaction of his teacher, the young man questioned one of the senior students. "Have I offended our Master in some way?" he asked. "I gave him a gift that I thought he would find most enjoyable. He took the gift, but then he simply turned around and left me standing there."

"What did you expect in return?" asked the older student.

"I don't know, perhaps some kind words of appreciation. I certainly did not expect much, but far more than I received," replied the young man.

"Then you did not give anything at all," said the senior. "You merely traded one gift for what you hoped would be another. That is not giving."

"We do not give, with the hope of receiving anything in return," continued the senior. "If you must have recognition for your gift, know that our Master will enjoy it for many years. That knowledge is your reward."

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