This is a story that I heard from my aunt long time ago. When my aunt was little, her father was ill and in order to support the family, she and her elder brother used to help their mother with the field work and housework. On top of the heavy workload, the family finance was tight at the time, and she didn’t get to visit special places or do any special things as a child.
Once in a while, she visited her aunt in Tokyo on an errand. Whenever she visited, her aunt took her out to a department store to buy her a fancy dress or to an amusement park for some fun rides. Even as a child, my aunt knew that her aunt didn’t lead a luxurious life. So, whenever she took her out to a special trip, she felt bad. One day, she finally spoke out her concern.
“Aunty, you don’t need to do any of this for me. I know this is not what you save your precious money for.”
Her aunt smiled and said,
“My dear sweetheart, you must understand something. There is such joy in giving to my love! So, don’t take that joy away from me, please!”
Years later, when I came into the world, whenever I visited my aunt, she always gifted me with something that I secretly wanted or a special meal that I usually couldn’t eat at home. Not that I was leading a childhood full of hardships like my aunt herself, but she still did all those things for me. And it was on one of my visits to her that she shared the above story with me.
“There is joy in giving.”
The message has stuck with me since.