Tale of Two Brothers: Two Versions. Which one resonates with you?

AUTHOR: | POSTED: January 3, 2011 | COMMENTS: 2 Comments
CATEGORIES: Love This...Not So Much,

Carolyn Savage

There are two different versions of this same virtuous tale.  Read them and note the difference.

Two brothers shared a field, he said. One was married with many children; the other was a bachelor.

They worked very hard and split their harvest equally.

One day, the married brother thought it was not fair. His brother had no children to care for him in old age. So he put an extra bag of grain in his brother’s barn.

At the same time, the other brother, too, decided it was not fair. His brother had so many more mouths to feed, so he put an extra bag of grain into his brother’s barn.

As the brothers continued to do this, they would be surprised every morning as they found they had the same amount of grain as before.

One day, they passed each other on the road, each carrying a sack of grain for the other. It was then that they realized what they had been doing for one another and embraced in a moment of true brotherly love.

The other version….

Two brothers shared a field, he said. One was married with many children; the other was a bachelor.

They worked very hard and split their harvest equally.

One day, the married brother thought it was not fair. His brother had no children to care for and less mouths to feed. So every night, under the cover of darkness, he crept over to his brother’s harvest and stole a bag of grain.

At the same time, the other brother, too, decided it was not fair. His brother had so many children who would care for him in old age while he had no one. So every night, under the cover of darkness, he crept over to his brother’s harvest and stole a bag of grain.

As the brothers continued to do this, they would be surprised every morning as they found they had the same amount of grain as before.

One night, they passed each other on the road, each carrying a sack of grain they had stolen from the other. It was then that they realized what they had been doing to one another and were immediately ashamed of their envious ways. .

The stories above relay important lessons.  Compassion is priceless;  Envy is dangerous.  The questions is… Which set of brothers are you most likely to be?  When someone’s circumstances are seemingly better than your own, do you focus on what they have that you don’t?  Or, are you grateful for your life’s blessings and look for ways to share with others?  Compassion trumps envy every time!

2 Comments on “ Tale of Two Brothers: Two Versions. Which one resonates with you? ”

  • Lorraine | March 28th, 2011 12:40 am

    These words/statements are so very true:

    “Compassion is priceless; Envy is dangerous… When someone’s circumstances are seemingly better than your own, do you focus on what they have that you don’t? Or, are you grateful for your life’s blessings and look for ways to share with others? Compassion trumps envy every time!”

    All too often when things go ‘wrong’ or not as we wanted or expected, we forget to give thanks and praise for the things we have. We focus on what other people around us have and wonder why we can’t have what we wanted or wished for. Family is so very important and to be thankful for having family and friends and what they give us is completely priceless.

    I grew up with a Catholic upbringing and grew up going to Catholic schools. I can remember one of the nun’s in High School (in Australia) telling us that we should never give in to the feeling of ‘envy’. “To be envious will only bring you pain and suffering,” Sister Helga would say.
    I would have been about 15 or 16 years old at the time, but her words would stay with me my whole life. Whenever I felt the slightest incling of being jealous or envious toward someone, I would stop and think about what Sister Helga said to us. It’s now when I am 40 years old that I can truly fully appreciate what Sister Helga was trying to teach us all those years ago. She spoke not only as a Catholic nun, but of experience. Her words are truer and bigger than life.

    1 month and 5 days into my 8th birthday, I remember 2 police officers coming to our front door. It was well after midnight and it was New Years Eve (technically New Years Day – 1st January, 1979). I was awake and with my mum as we had come home from my mum’s best friends place after celebrating the new year in.
    My father left early and went to his sisters place to wish them a Happy New Year before coming home. On his way home his car was struck by an oncoming car forcing his car to swirve to the opposite side of the road ending his car being wrapped around a light pole. My father was rushed to hospital but sadly died on arrival.
    The driver was a drunk driver. She had been drinking and was heavily drunk whilst deciding to get behind the wheel of a car. In less than a blink of an eye, she had just killed someone’s father – my father, someone’s husband, someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s best friend – someone she didn’t know but whose lives she had changed forever.

    Though I was young, I remembered (and still remember) my father vividely. I remember everything about my father, including that he preferred smoking pipes instead of cigarettes. I even remember the brand of tobacco he would buy, and no I don’t smoke. Growing up I always asked the question why my father? Not that I ever wished it upon anyone else because I didn’t, but I always asked why me, why us? I’m an only child with no brothers or sisters, my mother was on her own, my Dad’s sister was about to head back from Australia to the UK and we were all alone. About 18 months prior to that, my mother had suffered a miscarriage and the baby was a boy. I would have had a younger brother and least if he was alive, we would have each other.

    After talking to many wonderful people in my life, the majority of replies were, “Everything happens for a reason,” and “Never be jealous or envious of another person. You do not know what is really in their life.”
    All these replies have also stayed with me my whole life because they are such very true statements.

    Everything does happen for a reason. Though we may not know what the reason is straight away, eventually, God reveals His work to us. God works in mysterious ways. To feel envy of another is just a wasted emotion. To be thankful for what you have been given is worth more than life itself.

    We can feel anger, frustration, disappointment and all those other horrible feelings that life brings upon us, but we should always try to never feel envy of another person and we should always try and be thankful for all that God has given us.

    Carolyn & Sean, thank you so very much for sharing your story with us all. Your plight has reached many of us across the globe. You are amazing, wonderful people who have not deserved this in life. However, God is Great and you brought a new life into this world. Logan is here because of you both and because of God’s great gift to us in children. Children are the future and hopefully Logan is told his story of just how special he is. He is very lucky that of everyone in IVF, this clerical error occured with you both. Many others may have decided to terminate, or battle it out in the court rooms. But the both of you chose to give the gift of life to a couple you didn’t even know. Though it must have been so very painful for you both, and though it seems to have been a decision placed upon you both, not one you consciously made, you have both given the greatest gift anyone can give someone – the gift of life.

    May you and your family be blessed with joy and happiness. I hope that Logan grows to know his story and that you are allowed to be present in his life. He would not be here if it were not for you both. I also pray and hope the Morells truly appreciate and treasure the most precious gift given to them, the gift you have given them – Logan’s life.

    God Bless,
    Lorraine

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 30th, 2011 9:18 am

    Lorraine, I am so sorry about your father. What a loss…and what a horrible twist of fate. I can tell you are a strong and insightful person from your experiences. What you have said about envy is very important. I do believe that Logan is treasured beyond measure by his parents. Whatever role we play in his life will be up to them. We have accepted that. I hope you get a chance to read our book. And stick around! Hopefully our blog will bring you some entertainment as well as provoke some thoughts about life.

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