Thursday, October 21, 2010

Burden or Brother?

A boy was carrying his crippled younger brother on his shoulders through the street. Seeing this, an old lady lamented, “Poor boy! What a burden you are carrying at this small age!” Hearing this, the boy told her emphatically, “He is not a burden. He is my beloved brother.”

There is a lovely legend about the location of the Temple of Jerusalem. Two loving brothers had a family farm which they cultivated together. They shared the harvest equally. The harvested grains were packed in large bags and stored in two corners of the field as the shares of the two brothers.

The elder brother had a large family while the younger brother was a bachelor. After the harvest, they had divided the grains equally as directed by their late father. But at night, the elder brother thought that his younger brother was alone and as a mark of affection, he carried three bags of grain from his stock and left them as a loving gift along with his younger brother’s bags. The same night, the younger brother thought that his elder brother had a large family to support and had greater needs. Out of compassion, he carried three bags of his grain to his elder brother’s store and left them there. In the morning, the two brothers were surprised to find that their stock had not diminished even after their acts of charity. The incident was repeated on the second night also.

But on the third night, the brothers carrying the bags of grain met face to face at a place in between their stores. They now learned how their stocks were not affected even after the donation. They shed tears of joy and embraced each other. The legend says, years later, the place of the meeting of the loving brothers was selected as the ideal site to construct the Temple of Jerusalem. The Temple thus symbolizes the values of brotherhood and compassionate love.

Let us be ready to bear others’ burdens instead of being burdens to others. The distance to God is the distance to our nearest person. Let us be a loving brother to any one who needs our kind consideration and affectionate assistance, especially the aged, sick and suffering members of our own family. Charity begins at home.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

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