Small gestures, lasting results
For many years, I searched in vain for a copy of my most beloved childhood book, The Party Pig. It tells of a young pig who, on his birthday, is visited at his home by a succession of strangers seeking food because they don’t have any. Little Pig empties his pantry without hesitation — but when his mother finds out, she deems that his party that night must be cancelled since there’s no food left.
Little Pig begins to cry — the illustration still tugs at my heart! — but, lo and behold, there’s a knock at the door. Everyone he helped that day is there, armed with lots of food, including a birthday cake. A big celebration ensues.
My siblings somehow tracked down a copy of The Party Pig a few years back. Upon their presenting it to me at a family gathering, I felt not unlike Little Pig when his party gang arrived — surprised and overjoyed. Now I protect that book with my life.
Its moral, of course, is that in giving freely of ourselves — particularly to those in need — we receive. Now, I don’t expect to get a cake every time I do something nice, but I do believe that random acts of kindness can carry far more weight than might meet the eye.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m on the receiving end of seemingly simple gestures, they make me feel good inside and sometimes even help turn my day around: A warm greeting during the sign of peace at Mass. A smile from a cashier. A wave from a neighbor. It stands to reason, then, that I can have a similar effect on folks if I strive to act likewise.
Thanks, Little Pig, for conveying some vital life lessons that stick with me today.