The White Cloud of Happiness
My mother is a white cloud. Every time I see her, she smiles even bigger than I can ever smile. She loves to talk stories about any of life’s teachings she’s discovered, and I generally just keep quiet and listen. Sometimes I don’t understand everything she says, but that’s OK. It makes me happy just knowing she’s happy imparting wisdom onto me.
One of the holiday presents I got my father was a signed copy of Andre Agassi’s autobiography, “OPEN.” To me, the book was gold, because Andre is my idol. It was my only copy, and I decided to give it to my father because I remember him loving to read and enjoying the game long ago.
When my father opened his present, he did thank me and showed his appreciation. However, a week later, the book still lay on the coffee table unread. Somewhat dismayed that Agassi was being ignored, I spoke to mom about perhaps taking the book back since I cherished it so much. She mentioned her unused Barnes & Nobles gift card and had an idea.
Later that evening, my parents went to the Mall for date night without us. Apparently, Carl’s Junior had a two-for-one special and my father was just dying to go! When they returned, my mother brought me over to the kitchen and told me, “Shhhhhh, take a look at the book. I bought another copy of “OPEN” and swapped it with your signed copy, so you can take it home! Dad will never know!” We laughed so hard it hurt and gave each other high fives! My mom was right, dad never found out. Mom, who knows very little about tennis, was encouraged by my enthusiasm she even read “OPEN” before dad!
What you think is an amazing gift, may be quite uninteresting to the recipient. There is a recent study saying that on average, the recipient derives only 80% of the value of the gift, which is largely the gift givers fault for not getting them exactly what they want and need. My father was probably thinking he could just get the book at the library.
We can choose to be a black cloud, or a white cloud in every situation we face. The way we carry ourselves makes all the difference. When an ambulance screams by, white clouds part so the sun can beam through. Thanks mom for being a white cloud and supporting me in so many ways. Thanks dad for teaching me tennis. Now go read the book already!
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend Mom!
Readers, what are you doing for Mother’s Day? What is the one thing your mother taught you that you will always appreciate? Can you choose to be a white cloud, or is it just all predetermined? For those whose mothers are no longer here, may they be blessed forever.
Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”