"The Most Beautiful Heart"
There once was a young man, who had drawn a crowd around him in the town square. He had claimed to have the most beautiful heart in the world, and was showing it off to everyone there. As the crowd looked upon his heart, they all agreed that it was the most beautiful they had ever seen. It had a nice color to it, no scars or bruises, perfect in every way.
An old man, intrigued by the crowd, had walked up and heard the young man bragging about his heart. The old man looked upon the heart, and scoffed. "Hell, I'll admit that that is a nice heart, but it is no where near as beautiful as mine," The old man said.
Instantly the crowd turned to the old man, fascinated that there could be a heart more beautiful than this one. The young man, also intrigued, said to the old man, "Well, let's see this wonderful heart that you must have."
The old man opened his shirt and showed the entire crowd his old heart. It was scarred and bruised; with pieces missing here and there, almost like it had torn apart and pieced back together. Some of the pieces didn't fit just right, and others were even different colors.
The young man began laughing. "Old man, how could you possibly even pretend that you think that scarred, hideous thing of a heart could be more beautiful than mine? Look at it, I think I'm going to be sick from the sight."
The old man just smiled. "Yes, it does look pretty bad doesn't it? But let me tell you a little story about this here heart. You see the pieces that don't quite fit right? That was when I had ripped a part out of my heart, and gave it to someone I loved. The piece that they gave back, I placed into my own heart. The places that look like they're missing is when I gave someone a piece and no piece was returned. Some places are scarred from when the piece didn't fit quite right, and there are a few places where somebody gave me a piece of theirs with none in return. All of this has left my heart what it is today. A lot of times, it hurts, like when the pieces are missing, but I would not trade this heart for anything in the world, it means that I have loved and have been loved."
The young man, now with tears in his eyes, slowly reached down to his own, perfect heart and ripped a piece out of it, offering it to the old man, trembling. "Old man," he said. "I fear I do not deserve it, but I would be honored if you were to take this."
The old man happily took it from the young man, placing it into his own, before ripping a part of his own out and giving it back. As the young man put the piece into his own heart, they both embraced and walked off with arms around one another, glad that they had each found a new friend...