MASTER JINBODHI TELLS A STORY
A Poor Boy’s Candles
Translation by Qing Yuan
Illustration by Jun
Sally lived alone in a big house. Her closest neighbor was a single mother with a six-year-old son. She was well aware that the mother struggled to provide for herself and her son.
One night the area was hit by a power outage. Sally’s house was plunged into total darkness. Feeling her way around, she found a few candles. Just as she was about to light one, there was a shy knock at her door. Unnerved by the darkness, Sally asked softly, “Who’s there?” The voice of a child answered: “Do you have any candles?”
It was the little boy from next door. Sally thought that if the mother and son were too poor to afford even candles, it would be best not to lend them any in case they returned in future to ask for charity. Sally opened the door slightly and told the little boy that she did not have any candles.
At that moment, the little boy delightedly offered the two candles in his little hand to Sally. His mother had told him to bring them over, as she was worried that Sally might feel afraid being alone in the house in darkness.
Stunned by the family’s kind gesture, Sally felt deeply touched and was also filled with feelings of remorse and shame. She opened the door wide, hugged the little boy and thanked him profusely.
One does not have to be rich to give. When we believe kindness is an essential of human nature, we will always treat others with love and compassion. By extending ourselves to help others in any capacity, we bring hope and beauty to those in need and despair.