The Perfect Heart


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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.
A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for
it was perfect. There was not a mark or flaw in it. Yes,
they all agreed 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.

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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, it had places where pieces had
been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't
fit quite right and there were several jagged edges.
In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where
whole pieces were missing.  

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The People stared--how can he say his heart is more beautiful,
they thought? The young man looked at the old man's
heart and saw its state and laughed.
You must be joking," he said.Compare your heart with mine,
Mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears. 

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"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 - I 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.

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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,
giving love is taking a chance.
Although these gouges are painful, they stay open,
reminding me of the love I have for these people too,
and I hope someday they may return and fill the
space I have waiting. So, now do you see what true
beauty is?"

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The young man stood silently with tears running down
his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his
perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out.  
He offered it to the old man with trembling hands.
The old man took his offering, placed it in
his heart and then took piece from 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.

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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.

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How sad it must be to go through life with a whole

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Created January 30,2001