Be all you are called to be

By Carmen F. Aguinaco

There is a story about a very miserly farmer who didn’t want the animals in the field to eat the grain from his farm, not even those that had fallen on the ground. He decided to make a scarecrow. The farmer took two straw sticks and linked them in the form of a cross to make the body and arms; he dressed it in rags; gave it a pumpkin head, a carrot nose, teeth from grains of wheat, and eyes from grains of corn. Finally, he gave the scarecrow a heart of a pear.

Soon after, birds, hens, and a hungry rabbit began arriving and the scarecrow gave them his teeth, his eyes, and his nose. Then a poor family that was hungry and cold came by and the scarecrow allowed them to take his head and clothes. When the farmer returned, he flew into a rage against the scarecrow, which had lost everything. He grabbed the pear used as the heart and ate it. Suddenly, his greedy heart changed. From that moment on he received everyone with joy and generosity.

There is also a story about a young Native American man, who went to his grandfather with a great concern saying, “Grandpa, there are two wolves inside me. One is good and wants to serve others and to make peace. The other is bitter, resentful and wants vengeance. Which one will win?” And the grandfather answered: “The one you feed.”

A third story tells of an eagle raised in a chicken coop and who spent his life convinced he was a chicken. One day he saw an eagle soaring above and thought how much he would like to do the same. But, since the eagle was convinced he was a chicken, he could not fly and remained in the coop.

These three stories illustrate the meaning of our life and give clear reasons why we should become a volunteer. The scarecrow lost everything but did good to those around it, passing on a legacy of generosity to someone who had only seen greed and ambition in his life.

The Native American could decide to nourish the good wolf in him and starve to death the resentful and bitter wolf. And finally the eagle could come to the truth of his own identity and lose his doubts of flying. All of these things need boldness, generosity, hope and search for the good.

It is what volunteers do with the time and energy they give in the service of others. It may seem that something so generous cannot benefit the giver. It could also appear that revenge, violence, and satisfying one’s anger is better. Perhaps it is easier and more comfortable to stay at home. These stories, however, speak of something better, generous, courageous and bold.

For reflection

What will you do? Do you feel called to do something, but consider it is too much or you don’t have the strength or courage to do it?

 

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