GREATEST GIFT, THE

Serious, by Ken Bradbury, 1997

All of us have it to give, but you can't wrap it and you can't tie it. Good logic and emotion are combined in a moving speech about the power of giving.

Duration

8 - 10 minutes

Product Id: #403

Price
$6.00
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An excerpt …

Then came the day at the beginning of the school year when her father and aunt approached her after supper and told her about her mother’s cancer. They told her about how her mother would be confined to their home and would need constant, round-the-clock care. Julie’s aunt could stay with her during the day and her father in the evenings, but there was a two hour time period after school when the family would have to hire someone to take care of her mother. Julie’s  response was immediate. “I’ll take care of Mommy,” she said.

***

            Our entire community was devastated, not only at the loss of those we loved, but what such back-to-back tragedies would do to Julie. Little could we have guessed what would occur at the funeral home.  I attended each of the visitations and in each case, Julie was not doing what most young girls would be expected to do. She was not inside the funeral home mourning the loss of her family. Instead, she was standing outside the door of the chapel, greeting each of us as we entered. “I’m so glad you came here for Mommy.”    “Daddy would be so happy that you came.”  “Thanks for coming to see us. My brother would have been so happy you’re here.” 

            Julie stood there at the death of each family member, making a super-human effort to comfort us. She, who had lost everything, had only one concern … the feelings of others.

***

Some would say, “Don’t wear yourself out in giving to others.” The wise man says, “Give. Give. Give until it hurts. Give until you drop. Give until you are blessed.”

            I suppose that there are those among us who need this self-help, but let me first offer them a simple suggestion: Perhaps their very problem is too much concern with themselves. The term self-centered simply means to be centered on one’s self.  Nearly every war this world has seen has had at its roots, the weed of self-centeredness. Every prejudice, every fear, stems in most part from an over-riding concern for who we are, rather than a compassion for the needs of others.

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