My cousin rented a market stall for 2,000 yuan a month, and he invited my mother and me to taste the food.
Eight tables occupy less than 10 square meters of space, and every inch of space is occupied.
Mother looked around and said to the cousin: “There is a man selling drinks behind you, and you are blocking the path to his stall. He will not be happy about it.”
My cousin replied: “This facade is my own, and the rent is high. I can make more money by adding one more table.”
My mother said, “The place is good for you, but you are preventing other people from making money. In life, we need to be smart one-third of the time, be silly for the other third, and make others happy the rest of the time.”
Reluctantly, my cousin put away a table so that people could pass through.
My cousin stopped by the other day and happily thanked my mother. He told her: “My snacks and the neighbor’s drinks went well together, and we were able to support each other’s business.”
Out of gratitude to my cousin, the young man selling drinks came to help put away the extra table in the morning. When he cleaned up his bottles, he would also clean up my cousin’s table and clean my cousin’s dirty bowls.
Use one-third of your time to help others. This is what my mother often says, and she has followed this rule throughout her life.
When we were young, my mother liked to leave a row unsown when planting the land. She said that growing crops too close to other people’s land would cause confusion and unnecessary disputes. Most importantly, if one planted corn while the others planted peanuts, it would interfere with each others’ crops’ growth.
My mother has been farming at home for more than ten years. She has never had a dispute with others over land boundaries. On the contrary, there are often people who are eager to help her plow and sow.
Set aside the time to help others, and others will respond with sincerity and warmth.
Every family in our community has a small vegetable garden. Under my mother’s influence, when I grow vegetables, I leave a vacant space around my plot so that the neighbors can easily access their gardens. Unexpectedly, this small act makes me feel warm inside.
I have a tight working schedule and have difficulty managing my vegetable garden, so I only grow single leaf vegetables. However, every time I go to pick vegetables, one of my neighbors will give me beans, or the other one will offer me tomatoes.
What is even more heartwarming is that I worked a lot of overtime this year, so much so that I forgot about the vegetable garden. When I finally remembered about it, I found green spinach growing in my vegetable garden. It turned out that the neighbor saw that my garden was deserted when she was growing vegetables, so she leveled the ground, watered it, and planted spinach seeds. When I thanked her, she said that I set aside so much space for her walk every year, it was no trouble for her to return the favor by planting seeds.
Do I let too much land lie fallow? It’s not big enough to make a difference, and the warmth that I receive from my neighbors for my generosity is well worth it. They help me manage the vegetable garden and often help me look after my mother, who is over 80 years old. They help my mother to receive guests and put away the clothes drying in the yard.
Life is long, and regardless of whether you are a neighbor or a colleague, it is a form of self-improvement to respect others and spend so much time making them happy.
Make some time in your life to assist others, and you will find that life is less empty.
The original text is in Chinese. The author is unknown.