The Art of Giving
Bobby mamah stumbled over. He was totally distraught and clung to me crying, "We have lost everything. It’s all gone. All gone." I held him until he was a little calmer. His wife and children wandered around looking for any items that may have been spared. They were in shock and tearful.
As onlookers and helpers milled around the dusty smoking site, I wondered what would happen to the family. I had forgotten the nature of Hindu people. A nearby neighbour had already opened up their home and space had been made for the whole family and huge support was already at hand. I turned to Arthie, in private and said, "We have to help them. I have a lot of clothes at home that I can give to Bobby mamah." She nodded and I knew that my words were not necessary. That decision had already been made.
We went home and I began to look through the clothes that I no longer used, or for items that did not fit me any longer. When I turned to Arthie, I saw that she had begun packing brand-new clothes for the girls. "Arts," I asked, "why are you giving away your new clothes? We just bought them a few days ago."
She then said something that will stay with me forever,
I looked at my pile and realised that my gift would not make anyone feel special on such a tragic day. I then began to find items that would raise my spirit if I were in mamah’s place. My mind wrestled with my resolve as some of my favourite items went in to the suitcase.
Months after the fire we visited the family. They were now fairly well settled. One of the girls said to Arthie.
It is moments like this that I again realise that my wife is truly special and that there are many lessons to be learnt from her and from other cultures. From the moment we met our path has been one of growth and learning. We jointly bring something truly special to our relationships and through our work we will leave a powerful and positive legacy of humanness in the world.
Brian V Moore© Durban, South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org