July 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
When reflecting upon some of my experiences, I recall a story I heard long ago which I can only try to roughly rephrase here:
Every day, a man and his wife would sit down at the table to eat. And every day, his wife would give him the bread crust, keeping the white part for herself. This made the man very unhappy. One day, he angrily asked his wife, “Why do you give me the crust and keep the bread for yourself?” In shock, the wife answered, “My favourite part of the bread is the crust. I always thought I should let you have it.”
It has happened quite a few times, that someone did something nice for me for which I wasn’t grateful for, for it was not something that I needed or wanted. Sometimes, I wanted something else, like a listening ear, or time set aside to spent time with me. Yet, even so, there was this unspoken obligation for me to be grateful. If I was not, I was the ingrate, the bad one.
This sometimes caused me much unhappiness. Me, the ingrate, reasoned that if one loves another, one should express that love in actions/words that the beloved can understand. A french man wouldn’t tell a chinese woman he loves “Je t’aime” and expect her to understand and reciprocate, would he?
Still, as I consider this story, it also seems that the charage against the wife is unwarranted. She has lovely intentions, afterall. The task for the man, is simply to trust that whatever strange acts she does, it is often out of love.