A man often bought oranges from an old lady. After they were weighed, paid for and put in his bag, he would always pick one from his bag, peel it, put a slice or two in his mouth, complain it was too sour and would say to the old lady: ‘I am not very fond of eating this sour orange so why don’t you taste it for me’.
In this way he would pass on the orange to the old lady. She would then put one slice in her mouth and give a smiling response: ‘Why? it’s so sweet and juicy. It simply melts in my mouth,’ but by then the young man was gone with his bag. His wife, who always accompanied him, was a little confused and asked: ‘the oranges are always sweet, then why do you create this drama every time we approach her?’
He smiled and told her: ‘the old lady reminds me of my mother who would go hungry but see that her family never went without food. My father could barely make ends meet from odd jobs but she took all that in her stride. She was not the one to buckle up, was always smiling and taught us to be grateful and kind towards one and all. The old mother too hardly earns and sells sweet oranges but never eats them herself. This way I get her to eat one, without she losing her money. At least she will not go hungry. Oranges are just an excuse. I love to go and see her everyday and make her happy. Just to see her laughing makes my day. That’s all.’
The vegetable seller next to the old lady, too saw this happening every single day. He chided, ‘every time this man fusses over your oranges, and I see that you always weigh a few extra for him. Why? ‘The old lady smiled, “He is like a son to me. I know he does this to feed me an orange, only, he thinks I don’t understand. I too never weigh extra for him but put one or two more in his bag when he is not very observant. He takes so much care of me to see that I do not go hungry. His love and noble gesture tilts the scale slightly every time he visits me to ask for oranges. I feel so overjoyed to see a smile on his face too.”
Life’s joys are in these sweet little gestures of love and respect for our fellow beings. Love and kindness go hand in hand. Listen to your heart and do what makes others smile and be happy. Living a life of gratitude is healing vitality. Oh God, grant us always the ability to show such amazing kindness and warm gestures towards our fellowmen………..