Do you remember the first time you came across this book, the first time it came out? I was in elementary school still, and I recall how funny I found the name. Chicken Soup for the Soul. There was a male classmate of mine who sat a few seats in front of me. During lunch break, I saw him reading it, saw the funny book title, the simple cover, and laughed at him. I laughed at him! My conceited little noggin of that time felt that this book title was retarded. So I said to him, “You’re reading Chicken Soup!?” I may as well have been bullying him. The young boy stopped reading it immediately, and placed the book down. He was embarrassed. Man. I wish I hadn’t done that. I hope he forgot that experience, and kept on reading after that. Kept on reading Chicken Soup, in particular, for what series of publications have been more successful in setting out to bring hope, courage, and inspiration to the masses as Chicken Soup for the Soul does?
I have hardly been able to keep up with all the editions that are now available- they sprouted like mushrooms, didn’t they. But that’s wonderful. I hope these editors never stop their search for these stories. It was such a brilliant idea to begin with.
Of all the Chicken Soups that I have devoured since its inception, my favorite story has come from- ironically- that very first edition, the one with which my little male classmate had been reading decades ago. It’s kind of funny karma to think of how I so quickly passed judgment on it, laughed at those reading it, to only have that same book come back around into my life. It was meant to be. Upon finally having the heart and curiosity to read it, the book owned me. Heh. It whipped my perception into shape, providing me particularly with a story that I have turned back to again and again over many years. No matter how old I get, or how many more anecdotes I come across in other Chicken Soups, this one is still my favorite. I hope you like it too.
Bennet Cerf related this touching story about a bus that was bumping along a back road in the South.
In one seat a wispy old man sat holding a bunch of fresh flowers. Across the aisle was a young girl whose eyes came back again and again to the man’s flowers.
The time came for the old man to get off. Impulsively he thrust the flowers into the girl’s lap. “I can see you love the flowers,” he explained, “and I think my wife would like for you to have them. I’ll tell her I gave them to you.” The girl accepted the flowers, then watched the old man get off the bus and walk through the gate of a small cemetery.
Canfield, Jack, and Mark Victor Hansen. “The Gift.” Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories To Open The Heart And Rekindle The Spirit. Deerfield Beach: Health Communications, 1993. Print.