A story is told. A man was asked to paint a boat. He brought with him paint and brushes and begun to paint. While painting, he realized there was a hole in the boat and decided to repair it. When he finished painting, he received his money and left. The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice cheque which was far more than payment of the paint job. The painter was surprised: “you have already paid me for painting the boat,” he said.
“But this is not for painting the boat; it is for having repaired the hole in the boat.”
“Ah….but it was a small service………certainly it’s not worth so much for something so insignificant.”
“My dear friend you do not understand. When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention the hole. When the boat dried up, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip. They didn’t know there was a hole in the boat and I was not at home at that time. Imagine what went through my mind when I saw them, I could not believe it. Then I found out that the hole in the boat had been repaired by you. You saved my children, God bless you.”
This is a big lesson. There are two ways to look at it.
In the literal sense, we should all be willing to repair the leaks/holes in people’s lives. It does not hurt to go out of your way to help that person even without pay. You could be salvaging a situation or even saving a life. Were it not for the painter going the extra mile to repair the hole, the children could have died during the fishing expedition.
On the other hand, as the recipients, at times we have people in our lives who ‘repair our leaks’ and we barely appreciate them. We have become too entitled to show gratitude to those who have been there for us, be it emotionally, financially or through advice. We should always express gratitude for the good done to us.
At work, most of us don’t want to go the extra mile beyond our pay. We fear excellence. Relationships also break down because we become selfish. One person does not want to go out of their way for the other person. The other partner on the other hand, sees everything done to them as a right, and keeps complaining instead of pointing out the good and remaining grateful.
Let us learn from the painter and the boat owner. For love to be demonstrated, it is a two-way affair. Going out of your way and being grateful from the bottom of your heart. With best wishes, Mercy Karumba To read more posts by Mercy, click HERE
Photo credit: http://www.chabad.org/media/images/76/ikwB767087.jpg