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 around him and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. Pounding smoothly, it had no mark or flaw.
The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about the beauty of his heart. Suddenly, an old man appeared there 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. Although beating strongly, it was 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 were missing.
The people stared — how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?
The young man laughed at the state of the old man’s heart . “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 mine with yours. 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/her 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, dumbfounded. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect, young 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.
Today is my bro’s birthday. This post is to let him know that no matter how much we fight over silly things, I love him dearly. He was my first friend; the spy who would read my diary and embarrass me in public; and then comfort me by cracking jokes that would bring smile amid tears. Were it not for him, I wouldn’t know how to laugh at myself and see the lighter side of life.
The story was found online and reblogged with some changes.