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A Child Suffused with the Nectar of Human Kindness
Along the way, in the forest, a small shelter had been erected to provide rest for wayfarers. One day, when passing by, this girl found an aged man in the shelter. He appeared to be undergoing some suffering. She realized that he would not be able to reach the next village where he could get medical help and protection. Because of want of food, his body had become weak, and as she passed by she could see that his condition was not good. Daily she had been carrying some food for herself, and from the next day onward she gave this food to the sick man, who continued to lie in that small shelter in the forest. Every day, in the morning on her way to school, she would leave the food, and then in the evening she would collect the empty food container on her way back home. After ten days of ministering to him in this way, he regained some strength.
One day, as she was coming by on her way home, he took the hands of this little girl and asked her, "Dear child, you have been giving me food every day. Please, tell me where this food is coming from. Do your parents know that you are bringing me food every day? Or are you taking it from somewhere without their knowing it? Is this, perhaps, the food that has been provided for your daily lunch, and you are giving it to me instead? Tell me what you are doing. Please answer my question." She replied, "Honorable sir, I have been brought up to take things only with permission, and I can assure you that my parents know of my bringing food to you. Ours is a very poor family and we have very little money, but still we have been able to manage to provide food for ourselves and those in need. So, I have been bringing food from my family especially for you."
He asked her, "But if you have so little money how are you able to buy this food?" She replied, "Beyond here in the forest, there is a fruit-bearing tree. On my way, I collect fruits from that tree and sell them before going into the school. With the little money I collect, I buy the food. The next morning I prepare it and bring it you." The old man was overjoyed at her sacrifice and her intelligence and straightforwardness. He questioned her further, "How did you get such a noble mind?" She said, "Whatever good I am able to do is because of the upbringing and teachings given to me by my parents. As long as I can remember, my parents have been telling me that we must share with others and serve others. Ours is a very poor family, yet we always try to help others. We feel very blessed when we have the chance to do so. It gives us so much satisfaction." In this way, she told the sick man a little bit about her family and then went home.
Gradually the man recovered his health and was able to walk to the village where this girl and her family lived. What was the result of all the kind actions directed towards the sick man by this sweet little girl? The man told the family how he had been praying to God, "O Lord, give health and prosperity to the parents of this girl. When I was sick and helpless, I could not be of any use to the world. Now I am much better and can be helpful to others. I pray to you out of a heart filled with gratitude to bless this family." In this way, he shared with them his prayer that God bless good families such as these who generously help those in need. Then he left.