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When I was 10 yrs. old my school class had a gift exchange. We each came with a gift to give that cost no more than five dollars. I brought a good size gift to exchange and thought someone would be happy to receive my gift.

When I entered the classroom my eyes were fixed on this huge candy cane and in my heart I had already claimed it for myself. As names were drawn out of a hat to see who I would exchange gifts with I found myself matched up with one of the poorest kids in my class. He gave me a small ball of pottery that had been made by pushing his thumb into the clay and in it contained just one little peppermint. It was probably all he could afford, but I overlooked that fact. I was too absorbed in ME, thankfully I had enough manners to say thank you with some measure of graditude.

As we were sitting on the floor of the classroom in a circle I gazed with envy at all the other gifts that were given. As I turned my head away from my gift and looked toward the others, another boy got up to walk across the room. He accidentally stepped on my clay pot and the little peppermint was totally destroyed.

After school I ran straight home and began to share my disappointment with tears running down my face to my father, who responded with laughter. At first, I was taken back when he responded this way. I was hoping for sympathy of some kind, but before I knew it, I was laughing as well. We sat there and laughed for quite awhile because we both recognized that in the scope of life it really wasn’t worth crying about.

We all tend to make big...

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