A Bowl of Noodles from a Stranger
That night Sue, a little girl aged 12, quarreled with her mother and then stormed out of the house. As she traveled a little distance, she realized that she did not have money; not even enough coins to make a phone call home.
As she passed by a noodle shop, she suddenly felt very hungry. She wished for a bowl of noodles, but she had no money. She hesitated before the counter. The shopkeeper saw her standing and asked if she would like to eat a bowl of noodles. She shyly said that she didn’t have any money. The shopkeeper said that he will treat her and told her to sit. In a few minutes the owner brought her a steaming bowl of noodles.
She ate some and then started crying. The owner inquired about the reason. Wiping her tears, Sue said she was touched by his kindness! She thought that even a stranger on the street gave her a bowl of noodles, while her mother was not as kind and sympathetic. She felt her mother was cruel.
The owner said, “Why do you think so? Think again. I only gave you a bowl of noodles and you felt that way. Your mother brought you up since your birth. Why are you ungrateful and disobey your mother?” Sue was really surprised after hearing that.
She thought to herself, “Why did I not think of that? A bowl of noodles from a stranger made me feel indebted and my mother carried me in her womb and has raised me since birth and I have never felt so for her…”
On the way home, Sue thought of what she would say to her mother when she arrives home — “Mom, I’m sorry. I know it’s my fault. I hurt you, please forgive me.”
As Sue neared her home, she saw her mother worried and tired of looking for her everywhere. On seeing Sue, her mother gently said, “Come in honey. You must be hungry. I prepared the meal already, come eat while it is still hot…”
Not able to control any longer, Sue cried uncontrollably and hugged her mother.
In life, we sometimes find it easy to appreciate the small actions of kindness of people around us including strangers. But we take the care and sacrifices of our parents for us as a matter of right. Parental love and concern are the most precious gifts we have been given since birth and we fail to adequately appreciate it.
As kids, we don’t always understand what and how much our parents do for us. They make sacrifices we don’t see, express emotions in a way we don’t necessarily get and are brave in ways we might never be able to comprehend. Many a times, we do not appreciate their presence in our lives.
Parents have no expectations from us for nurturing us, but we fail to appreciate and value their unconditional love, care and sacrifices for us. When they grow old, they need their children the most. We have to be there for them always.
We need to take care of our parents, love them and treat them with kindness, especially in their old age when they need us the most.