One day a young man was standing in the middle
of the town proclaiming that he had the most
beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large
crowd gathered and they all admired his heart
for it was perfect.
There was not a mark or a flaw in it.
Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most
beautiful heart they had ever seen.
The young man was very proud and boasted
more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of
the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not
nearly as beautiful as mine."
The crowd and the young man looked at the
old man's heart. It was beating strongly,
but full of scars, it had places where pieces
had been removed and other pieces put in, but
they didn't fit quite right and there were
several jagged edges. In fact, in some places
there were deep gouges where whole pieces
The people stared -- how can he say his heart
is more beautiful, they thought?
The young man looked at the old man's heart
and saw its state and laughed.
"You must be joking," he said.
"Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect
and yours is a mess of scars and tears."
"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect
looking but I would never trade with you.
You see, every scar represents a person to
whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece
of my heart and give it to them, and often
they give me a piece of their heart which fits
into the empty place in my heart, but because
the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges,
which I cherish, because they remind me of the
love we shared. "Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart
away, and the other person hasn't returned
a piece of his heart to me. These are the
empty gouges -- giving love is taking a chance.
Although these gouges are painful, they stay open,
reminding me of the love I have for these people too,
and I hope someday they may return and fill the
space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"
The young man stood silently with tears running
down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man,
reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart,
and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old
man with trembling hands
The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart
and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and
placed it in the wound in the young man's heart.
It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.
The young man looked at his heart, not perfect
anymore but more beautiful than ever,
since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.
They embraced and walked away side by side.
~ The End~