One day a young man
was standing in the middle of the
proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in
the whole valley.
crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for
it was perfect.
There was not a mark or
a 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.
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.
beating strongly ... but it was 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
In fact ... in some places there were
deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
The people stared ... how can he say his heart is
more beautiful ... they thought?
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 ...
perfect and yours is a mess of scars and
"Yes" ... said the old man ... "yours
is perfect looking but ...
I would never trade
You see ... every scar represents a
person to whom I have given my love ...
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 ...
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 ... giving love is taking a chance.
Although these gouges are painful ...
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.
now do you see what true beauty is?"
young man stood silently with tears running down
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.
man took his offering ... placed it in his heart
and then took a piece from his old scarred
and placed it in the wound in the
young man's heart.
It fit ... but not perfectly
... as there were some jagged edges.
man looked at his heart ...
not perfect anymore
but more beautiful than ever ...
from the old man's heart flowed into his.
embraced and walked away side by
From the pen