por Célia Xavier de Camargo
Laura, a good and loving girl, heard a lecture at school saying that working is for adults, and that children had only to study and play.
So when her mother asked her to do something, she claimed that she needed to study, watch television, that her friends were waiting for her to play, or simply that she was tired.
One day, as Laura was not doing anything, just sitting by the kitchen door, her mother asked:
- Honey, will you dry the dishes for me?
The answer came quickly:
- I can’t, Mom, I'm resting.
Her mother thought for a moment and said fondly:
- Laura, we all have to make a contribution in life by collaborating to the general well-being.
- A child has to study and play. Working is for adults, Mom - she said, showing what she had learned.
- Not quite, sweetheart. A paid activity or professional work are indeed adult jobs. But within our capacity, we must repay a little of the much we have received from life.
The woman stopped washing the dishes and, turning to the girl, suggested:
- Laura, since you're not doing anything, go to the backyard and watch nature. Then come back and tell me what you saw.
Although unwillingly, the girl got up and walked out into the backyard. At first she did not notice anything. She passed her eyes over the flowers that were opening, now colourful and beautiful, gracing the yard. She walked a little farther and saw an orange tree covered with fragrant flowers. Then she saw a hurried little bee that went from flower to flower, collecting its food, who then flew to the stump of a tree where it made a honeycomb.
She observed orange trees with small, green fruits, while others had ripe oranges.
Passing by a mango tree, she picked up a mango and sat down on the ground to savour it. She loved mangos!
She looked up and saw a little bird who picked up sticks on the ground and took them to a branch at the top of the mango tree and laid it down carefully to build its nest.
Staring at the ground, she saw a row of ants carrying leaves, fruit peels and bread crumbs to the anthill.
Laura admired their organisation, walking in an orderly line. They all carried something. They all worked!
After eating her mango, as she had mango juice smeared all over her face, the girl returned home. She washed herself in the backyard tap and went into the kitchen, looking for a towel to dry herself.
Seeing the girl, the mother asked:
- So? What did you observe?
- Well, I saw a little bee collecting the nectar from the flowers of an orange tree and taking it to produce the honey. I also noticed that there are orange trees with small fruits and others with ripe oranges. I saw our mango tree full of ripe mangos and picked one to eat. It was delicious!
The girl stopped talking, pensive.
- What else did you notice, darling?
- I also saw ants carrying food to the anthill. It was as if they had gone to the supermarket to shop! That’s all.
- And what did you think of all this?
- I see you're right, Mom. Everyone works, even the little ones: the bee produces honey, the tree produces the flowers that will turn into fruits, the ants bring food to their family, the bird builds its house...
- Very well done, honey! And you could have seen even more: insects and small animals that feed on the ripe fruits that fall and clean the soil, the land that receives the seed and that makes it germinate, and so many other things.
Excited by those findings, the girl agreed:
- You're right, Mom, and there's the sun that lights and warms us, the water we drink...
- That’s correct, honey. And all for what?
- To make our lives better and happier. Everything in nature works for the benefit of all. How had I never realized that?
Embracing her mother, Laura said:
- Mom, I also want to help to make everyone happy. Here at home, Dad works to bring in money so we can buy food and everything else we need. You do all the housework, cleaning, washing, tidying and cooking. I also want to help by doing what I can. I will work from now on helping you and all of our family. I have always received much, now I also want to learn to give.
And the girl remembered, with a new mood: I can water the garden, sweep the yard, take care of the dog, dry the dishes, put away my toys and keep my clothes tidy. I'll have lots to do!
Font: “O Consolador”, Weekly Magazine of Spiritist Divulgation, year 11, n.554