Sometimes, when people give us a helping hand where we feel it’s unneeded, we get upset and turn them away. But they only want to help by doing whatever they can, whether it’s big or small.
To preface my message, here’s a condensed version of an Indian story from the Ramayana. At this point in the Ramayana, the hero, Ram is trying to build a bridge from the Indian mainland to Lanka (now known as Sri Lanka) in order to rescue his kidnapped wife. As the monkey king’s subjects help him pile up the boulders, a small squirrel comes up to them carrying in its paws a few pebbles.
The little squirrel asks, “Here, these pebbles are to help the blessed Rama’s bridge. I must do my fair share of the work.”
Indignant the monkeys exclaimed “You? What can YOU do?”
The squirrel replied, “I am helping to build the bridge. I am carrying the small pebbles that along with your rocks, will help build the bridge.”
The monkeys laughed. “WE are carrying the big rocks and moving mountains for Rama. What would he need your pebbles for?”
The squirrel said, “I cannot carry big rocks or mountains. God has given me only enough strength to carry these pebbles. I cannot do anymore, but this I will do because its the only thing can and I want to help Rama in anyway possible.”
Sadly, the monkeys didn’t care and they told the squirrel to leave. But she would not and she kept bringing her little pebbles. Frustrated they again told her to leave. Still she said “I want to help too.” In the end her little pebbles, small as they were, filled the squirrel with pride of being able to help and though it was a small portion, did indeed contribute to the bridge's structure.
At my house, my grandmother and great-aunt live with us. They do the little things just to have a small impact on us, and so that they feel like they are important and helpful. Occasionally, we get a bit irritated when they are helping us with small tasks that we are competent enough to accomplish. This story makes me realize that we should take a step back and recognize that they just want to do the little they can to help. We should appreciate them as opposed to merely shrugging their actions off.