A Native American child was constantly advised to give more, not less.
A young father is arranging a ceremony to honor his stepdaughter. He
consults his wife. She says, "All I know to say is that we should be
generous; more rather than less generous. But you should ask our old
father. He will give right advice. I will also consult our mother. We
should then do what they say."
He goes to his father and asks: "Father, how much and to whom should
we give by way of gifts?"
The father answers after a long moment of quiet thinking: "Son, give
the maximum you can afford. This is what we have always done. And give
to all the families in our community, ALL. We must also send gifts to
our close relatives in other communities. Main message of all our
celebrations is to strengthen the spirit of generosity. Remember, the
more people give the more everyone receives."
Nothing is Too Good to Give
A renowned priest is visiting a community to perform the naming rite
of an infant. Children go to visit him. A boy asks his grandfather:
"What gift should I take to the honored man?"
Grandpa advises: "He is a man of few needs and his tipi is almost
bare. But you must not go empty handed. You may take for him just one
small thing, but it should be something precious; the thing you most
cherish. Know that nothing is too good to give; even your beloved best
horse. Remember, what you give him will soon go to someone who needs
it more than you. This is what my father would have advised me to do.
From the beginning of time this is our tradition."
May 28, 2006
(Written and sent on May 30th)