According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher.
After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.
Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container.
The student challenged his teacher: "Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?"
The teacher replied, "You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter."!!!
We may understand this lesson best when we receive innocent gifts of love from young children. Whether it's a crushed paper painting or a clay figure, the natural and proper response is appreciation and expressed thankfulness because we love the idea within the gift.
Gratitude doesn't always come naturally. Unfortunately, most children and many adults value only the thing given rather than the feeling embodied in it. We should remind ourselves and teach our children about the beauty and purity of feelings and expressions of gratitude. After all, gifts from the heart are really gifts of the heart!! Also, when we express our gratitude,we must never forget that the highest of appreciation is not to utter mere words, but to live by them.
The essence of all beautiful art, all great art is gratitude! Gratitude is the sign of noble souls and the memory of it is stored in the heart and not the mind!
The next time you receive any gifts from anyone, no matter however small it may be, remember the love behind and don't judge the gift with its appearance! Have a deep sense of gratitude for whatever you receive in life in whatever form it may be!