My Daughter’s Good Eye and the Pig
(This is part 2 of a four-part series on generosity. Check out part 1 here.)
I love to go on cruises. It is my favorite way to vacation. The size and power of the ocean creates awareness in me of God and frankly, I just love that my room goes to new places and I don’t have to keep unpacking.
Over this past summer, my family and I had the blessing of taking a short cruise to the Bahamas, stopping in the port of Nassau. If you have never been to Nassau, then you need to know that it is a very busy tourist port. Lots of ships stop there every day, lots of people buying lots of stuff. So, bargaining has become part of the shopping experience.
Before going on, I must tell you that my 12-year-old daughter loves pigs. Not that we live on a farm or that we own a live pig, but every small pig toy or piggy bank brings a squeal (no pun intended) of delight to her. It is really quite adorable.
As my wife, daughter, and I get off the ship in Nassau, the very first thing my daughter spies is the pig pictured above. It is made out of coconut. Shells for feet. The back-end of the pig is removable in order to retrieve money deposited into this bank. Daughter thought this was about the funniest thing in the world. Truth be told, I did too because who wouldn’t want to have money coming out of that part of their body?
Well, I thought this pig was a little expensive and it was the first thing we saw, so I told her that we would look around the straw market for a while. This is my attempt to be a good dad. I wanted to teach her how to bargain.
The straw market on Nassau is a huge building packed with local vendors. Each gets maybe four feet of table space to cram all their stuff onto and up to the ceiling. Additionally, the aisles are very close together, so as you walk down you literally bump shoulders with every vendor as they ask you if you like anything they have to sell.
It is a very overwhelming environment.
As my daughter walks down the aisles looking for pigs, asking how much they cost, her shoulders slump. This leads to more advice from dad “Be confident! They won’t accept your offer if you look weak!” I know, father of the year type stuff.
After a few more aisles, my daughter is crying and I am having trouble taking it so I huff and say “Let’s just leave, this was supposed to be fun.”
Walking back to the ship, I ask daughter what was up and she replied…
“Talking the people down means that I am taking money away from them that they need more than we do.”
Duh. And I thought I was the one that was supposed to be giving the lessons.
She was sensitive to the need of the person rather than driven by what she wanted.
My daughter has a good eye. (For an explanation of good eye, see the first post.)
On our walk back, as I marveled at where my daughter got this wisdom, I watched her buy a painting by a local artist for the price the nice woman asked.
Then I happily bought her The Pig. And I didn’t try to bargain.
To what needs of those around you are you sensitive?
Click here for part 1 of the series – The Source of Generosity
Click here for part 3 of the series – Competition for our Generosity
Click here for part 4 of the series – Living Generously