The Perfect Heart
One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.There was not a mark or a flaw in it.
A large gathering crowd all agreed that it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said,??Why, your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.??
The crowd and the young man looked at the old man??s heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
The young man laughed, saying,??You must be joking. Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears??.
??Yes??, said the old man,??Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love?ªI tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren??t exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn??t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges?ªgiving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too.
So now do you see what true beauty is???
The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He ripped a piece of his perfect young and beautiful heart and offered it to the old man with trembling hands.
The old man took his offering, and then took a piece of his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man??s heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man??s heart flowed into his.They embraced and walked away side by side.