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WHAT’S IN A GIRL’S PAPER BAG


To access all the previous stories of inspiration, please click here.

 

It was Molly's job to hand her father his brown paper lunch bag each morning before he headed off to work.

One morning, in addition to his usual lunch bag, Molly handed him a second paper bag. This one was worn and held together with duct tape, staples, and paper clips.

"Why two bags?" Dad asked.

"The other is something else," Molly answered.

"What's in it?"

"Just some stuff, take it with you."

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Not wanting to discuss the matter, Dad stuffed both bags into his briefcase, kissed Molly and rushed off. At mid-day, while hurriedly having his lunch, he tore open Molly's bag and shook out the contents: two hair ribbons, three small stones, a plastic dinosaur, a pencil stub, a tiny sea shell, two animal crackers, a marble, a used lipstick, a small doll, two chocolate kisses and 13 pennies. Dad smiled, finished eating, and swept the desk clean — into the wastebasket — leftover lunch, Molly's junk and all.

That evening, Molly ran up behind him as he read the paper. "Where's my bag?"

"What bag?"

"You know, the one I gave you this morning."

"I left it at the office. Why?"

"I forgot to put this note in it," she said. "And, besides, those are my things in the sack, Daddy, the ones I really love — I thought you might like to play with them, but now I want them back. You didn't lose the bag, did you, Daddy?"

"Oh, no," he said lying, "I just forgot to bring it home. I'll bring it home tomorrow."

While Molly hugged her father's neck, he unfolded the note that had not made it into the sack: "I love you, Daddy," it read.

Molly had given him her treasures — all that a 7-year-old held dear. Love in a paper sack, and he missed it — not only missed it, but had thrown it in the wastebasket!

So back he went to the office. Just ahead of the night janitor, he picked up the wastebasket and poured the contents on his desk.

After washing the mustard off the dinosaur and spraying the whole thing with breath-freshener to kill the smell of onions, he carefully smoothed out the wadded ball of brown paper, put the treasure inside and carried it home gingerly, like an injured kitten. The bag didn't look so good, but the stuff was all there and that's what counted.

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After dinner, he asked Molly to tell him about the stuff in the sack. It took a long time to tell. Everything had a story, or a memory, or was attached to dreams and imaginary friends. Fairies had brought some of the things. He had given her the chocolate kisses, and she had kept them for when she needed them.

"Sometimes I think of all the times in this sweet life," he mused, "when I must have missed the affection I was being given. I have a friend who calls this 'standing knee deep in the river and dying of thirst'."

We should all remember that it's not the destination that counts in life — it's the journey. The journey with the people we love is all that really matters. Such a simple truth so easily forgotten, yet we can, at any moment, choose to see the truth. A little girl's smiles, chocolate kisses wrapped in old paper bags — that we sometimes throw away too thoughtlessly, when each is a tiny treasure.

Mother Teresa said,

“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world…. Love begins in home, lives in homes….”

Bhagavan Baba says,

“The family is essential for the blossoming of the human personality – how can a helpless baby grow and learn, talk and develop without the home? The home needs the community around it to keep it safe and happy. We have to expand our knowledge, our emotions, our sympathies, our love. Expansion is life. Expansion is love.”

If we are alert and care to observe, our life is actually filled with so many little things. Let us recognize them and relish them every present moment, then the future will automatically be taken care of.

Illustrations: Ms. Lyn Kriegler Elliott

- Heart2Heart Team

 


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To access all the previous stories of inspiration, please click here.

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Vol 6 Issue 05 - MAY 2008
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