My mum used to ask me occasionally what body part was most important and through the years, I would jump from one answer to another. When I was younger, I thought sound was very important, so I told her the ears but she nodded her head in disagreement. “Some people are deaf. But keep thinking about it and I will ask you again sometime,” she said.
Several years passed before she came up to me with the same question. Since my first failed attempt, I felt I now had the right answer. So I told her, ’Mummy, sight is very important, so it must be our eyes.’ She looked at me and said, ’You are learning fast, but that is not the right answer because some people are blind.’
I was determined to find out the answer and quenched my thirst for knowledge every chance I got. Mother asked me again and again and the answer was always, ’No. But you are getting smart every year, my child, she told me.’
Then my grandfather died. Everybody was hurt and crying buckets of tears. I watched my father cry for the second time in his whole life. While saying our final goodbyes, my mum looked at me and asked, ’Do you know the most important body part yet, my dear?’ I was shocked because I didn’t know why she chose that time to ask such a question; I always thought it was a game!
She saw the confusion in my eyes and said, ’The question is very important. For every answer you gave me in the past, I explained why it was wrong.’ She spoke to me as only a mother can; while I watched her eyes fill up with tears. She said, ’My dear, the most important body part is your shoulder.’
’Is it because it holds my head in place?’I asked innocently. ’No, it is because it can comfort a friend or a loved one when they are feeling sad. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life. I hope you always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it,’ she sobbed.
Then and there, I realised the most important body part is not a selfish one. It is made for others and not for yourself.
It is sympathetic and considerate to others. People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will NEVER forget how you made them feel. If a friend is going through a bad time, let them know you are there for them, give them your shoulder. They will cherish that more than anything.