Three Beans: The Greatest Gift from Mom

I had a few minutes to quickly chomp down a late diner since I didn't get to eat a real meal today. While eating I looked through a Vietnamese classified magazine called Thang Mo.
A brief history about Thang Mo Magazine for San Jose/ Silicon Valley. They started with one booklet a long time ago. When I first came to California, the land of endless possibilities, they were already printing and distributing these FREE classify booklets. The content was sparse at first, but grew and grew because it was the means for Vietnamese businesses to reach-out to other businesses and consumers.  24 years later, the one booklet now tripled into three thick booklets. And since then the people have grown, so as the Vietnamese businesses in San Jose.  Thang Mo reminds me of Craigslist, just a print and Vietnamese version.

In  one of these booklets was a section on a writing contest. They published three winning stories. I chose to read the story about Three Beans. This story was about a great mother. You all probably one of those.

The Three Beans Story:

The story goes like this, the author was a young girl retelling the story of her mother's bravery. To sum it up, she remembered the day her father left her, her sister, brother, and mother on the street in the middle of a storm. Her father took-off with a pretty young girl. And just like that all of a sudden, the family was torn apart. The three kids became fatherless and shelter-less.

Her mother had no choice but to drag her children back to her hometown / family. A depressed farm area. She then raised her children from doing odd and end jobs. She didn't have but the clothes on her back. The man took everything that was valuable. There was no divorce lawyer, no one to turn to for help in those days. Her mother migrated the family from one end of the country to the other, wherever she could find work. They would live in the wilderness, under trees and big coconut palm leaves. It was rare that they could afford to stay in a straw hut for long, as the mother would run out of work, or people would not pay her.

One year, around New Year, her mother gave each of the kids a bean. She asked that they planted one of them inside the house and take good care of it. The other two beans were to be planted outdoors and they are not to care for them as much. Weeks go by, the seed inside the house grew and grew, while the other two didn't even come up. And seeing that the mother asked that the kids stop caring for the plant inside the house. Puzzled as they were, they did as the mother asked. About a week later the plant inside the house started wilting while the other two outdoors seeds were looking quite good.

Eventually the indoor plant just got weak and
wilted away at the same time that the beans planted outdoors grew stronger and were blooming with flowers. The mother asked the kids to tell the stories of why they think the one inside being cared for died while the other two with less care survive brilliantly?

She proceeded to teach them that while one was cared for, it didn't have all the necessary essentials to live, it was missing the sun, and nature. When left to attend for itself, it couldn't survive without the care. The other two, even though they were not pampered and planted in a protected environment. They were accustomed to surviving on their own. They learned how to live and how to thrive in their environment, through the wind, sun and  rain. She then compared them to her children, she wanted them to know that no matter what happens, they too will survive and have been taught the surviving techniques of being poor and making ends meet.

It was a very lovely story. What better gift to give your kids then the gift of strength and survival. As a mother, I teach my kids to be independent and to be alert. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I didn't have what my children have today, but somehow I remember having so much fun just doing stupid things.

I guess my mom taught me how to be creative with what I had, thus she also gave me the gift of survival.

Here are Self Sagacity's Thursday Two Questions #139:
1) What was the best gift you ever received from your mom/ parents?
2) What was the greatest gift you gave your children?

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  1. I love the story, so true. The greatest gift indeed we could get from our parents is the gift of survivaland strength. I believe I got these gifts from my parents. And also the gift of staying calm in the middle of the storm. Thanks for sharing this very beautiful, inspiring and truly educating story, Amanda.

  2. Amanda, I have heard this story before and really like it. It is a very good point.

    My children were not raised with a lot of luxury. In fact we did not even have cable tv. I worked hard to teach them ethics, dependability, to love and know themselves honing their own skills, respect and most importantly that God loves them even more than I do.

    My parents gave me a strong work ethic and morals.

  3. I would like to think that I have passed on to my children the determination to survive, the thrive to be independent and that they can get through tough time as we have had.

    My parents taught me to have faith and be loyal to just one God!

  4. The greatest gift is the gift of education for me. For me it would be the gift of time and teaching them all the skills that they need to survive

  5. A lovely story, and, yes, I think one of the greatest gifts from any parent would be teaching how to survive. Still for me more important is the love of the parents, which of course the gift of survival can be seen as part of.

  6. What a great story! I try my best to have my children do for themselves as well. My sister pampered her daughter to the point where she expects her mom to do everything for her, then gets frustrated when she can't do simple things like tying her shoes. While I may come off harsh not jumping to my children's rescue at every turn, I know it is building confidence in them so they can do things on their own.

  7. I read this quote some days ago on Mothers Day. It goes, 'You can never return the greatest gift that your mother gave you - LIFE' Mother is a God whom we can see.

  8. I read this quote some days ago on Mothers Day. It goes, 'You can never return the greatest gift that your mother gave you - LIFE' Mother is a God whom we can see.

  9. That is an amazing story!

    1) What was the best gift you ever received from your mom/ parents?
    I didn't grow up with my mother.

    2) What was the greatest gift you gave your children?
    To remember that people are more important than things and to pray always.


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