Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Your heart isn't as beautiful as mine." earning a gasp from the crowd. The young man along with the crowd looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. Some places even had deep gouges where pieces were missing entirely. The people stared with disbelief. "How can he say his heart is more beautiful?" they wondered.
The young man looked at the old man's heart, saw its state, and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine. Mine is perfect while yours is a mess!"
"Yes," said the old man, "yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar on my heart represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them. Often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared."
The younger Man stood. Now motionless.
The crowd's silence was deafening.
"You see Son, the old Man humbly continued, giving Love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for those people. I hope someday they might return and fill the space I have waiting. Other times I've given pieces of my heart away and the other person never returned. Those are the empty spots you see. So now do you better understand what true perfection and beauty is?"
The crowd looked to the young Man for a resopnse. They saw he had tears running down his face.
He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly.
The young man looked down at his own heart, no longer perfect.
But it was more beautiful than ever.