Your Most Prized Possession
If someone were to ask you what is your most prized possession, what would your answer be? And is your answer today different than what it would have been earlier in life? As we move through the stages of life, we change, grow, and learn, and what’s important in one stage of life might not mean much to us a decade—or two or three—later.
Recently, I was enjoying a beautiful day with my husband while watching our seven-year-old grandson play soccer. I was conscious of everything around me: the gorgeous sunlit sky, the smell of freshly cut grass, the feel of my husband’s arm around me, and the squeals of little ones playing on the jungle gym next to us.
At halftime, I watched a little boy go to the concession stand with his dad. I smiled as his blond hair flapped in the wind. Judging from his size, I’d say he was three or four years old. He walked back to the jungle gym with a package of licorice ropes, and then he did something that made me watch in awe.
His friends—some bigger and some smaller than him—all ran up to see what delicious treat he’d gotten. He quickly ripped the cellophane wrapper off the package, stuffed it in his pocket, and systematically began tearing off lengths of licorice for each of his friends. He even went so far as to divvy it up based on a friend’s size. “Here, you’re big so you get a big piece.” “Now yours is going to be kind of smaller because, well, you’re small.”
As I continued to watch this “giving tree” boy dole out his prized possession, I wondered what would happen if he gave it all away and had none left for himself. That didn’t happen, though. When he had two inches of licorice left, his friends had all gone back to playing happily while enjoying their treats. Little Blond Boy was there standing by himself. He looked at what was left and simply said, “Good. Now everyone has some, and this part is mine.”
The second half of the game started, and while I went back to watching the players on the field, I also continued thinking about what I’d witnessed. When you’re three or four years old, candy ranks right up there as one of THE most important things in life, and yet, this little boy made it seem like giving to others is even more important than enjoying that prized possession.
Prioritizing and Perspective
Fast forward a few decades. Today, right now, what is your most prized possession? I’m guessing candy has moved down a few notches on your list! But when you think of what is important in your life now, do you make it a habit to share it with others?
“The next time you want to withhold your help, or your love, or your support for another for whatever the reason, ask yourself a simple question: do the reasons you want to withhold it reflect more on them or on you? And which reasons do you want defining you forevermore?”
― Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
Before even reaching kindergarten, Little Blond Boy has figured out that sharing our treasures with others fills us up much more than saving it all for ourselves.
How about you? What will you do today to share your gifts—your compassion, your expertise, your knowledge gained over the years, maybe even your candy—with others? I guarantee those others won’t be only ones whose days you improve by doing so.