An old man once told me the story of how as a young man, his mother used to ask him: “What is the most important part of your body?” Through the years, he would guess what he thought was the correct answer. The first time, his answer was: “The ears.” The mother replied: “No, many people are deaf. But you keep it and I’ll ask you soon again.” Several years passed before she asked him again. His second answer was: “My eyes”. The mother told him: “You are learning fast, but the answer is not correct, there are many people who are blind.”
Then a year later, his father died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Then the mother looked at the graveside and when it was their turn to say their final goodbye to their father, she asked him, “Do you know the most important body part yet, my son? He was shocked when she asked him by the graveside. The mother said to him: “Don’t be confused or shocked. This question is very important now and it shows you have lived in your life. For every body part, you gave me in the past, I have told you that you were wrong and I have given you an example of why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson.” Then the mother looked down at him and threw her head to his shoulder and hugged him. With tears in her eyes, she said “My son, the most important part of your body is your shoulder.”
Wow! This young man was forced to ask: “Mum, it is because it holds up my head?” She replied, “No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometimes in life. I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it.” There and then this young man knew the most important body part is not a selfish one. It is made for others and not for yourself. It is sympathetic to the pain of others.
People will forget what you said and did. But people will never forget how you made them feel in their crises times. Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you always know them when they are around you. No wonder a wise man said, “If you want to be wisely selfish, care for others.” Yes! It will come back for you. Be someone’s shoulder today.
Culled and edited from the ODM.