Thursday, February 26, 2015

Softening a Heart

Refer to previous post. Here is the continuation of another story on how Jewish rabbis (or teachers) were always encouraging people to be charitable. They felt that charity improved the life of whoever received it, and it also improved the spirit of however gave it. Here is a tale of a Jewish rabbi who have found a way to softening a heart…

A rabbi asked a wealthy man to give charity. The man scornfully tossed him a penny. As the rabbi picked up the penny, he praised and thanked the wealthy man.
The rabbi’s assistant asked,
How can you be so kind to such an unkind person?
The rabbi answered,
That man has never given even a penny before now. I must encourage him ever if he only gives a little. He needs to be taught how to be generous.”
And so it happened. Each time the rabbi returned, the man gave a little bit more. Each time the rabbi praised and thanked him.
On the fourth visit, the man burst into tears, and to everyone’s surprise, he gave the rabbi a tremendous sum. The rabbi was about to praise and thank him, but the man shook his head and said,
You deserve my praise and thanks, Rabbi, because you kept believing in me. You have taught me how to be generous.”

We can force people to give,
Or we can teach people how to give.
Forceful will harden a heart; praise, thanksgiving and encouragement will soften a heart.
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