The Circus

Several years back, a series of books exploded onto the marketplace.They were known as “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. I managed to grab a few books and they did make a good read. I came across one such book in which the authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen compiled collection after collection of short stories that contained uplifting messages of hope and inspiration.

One story in volume two in particular really touched my heart.  It is a moving piece, contributed by Dan Clark, which speaks volumes about genuinely practicing love. A friend of mine recently shared this story with me and that I thought I should definitely post it here today.

The Circus

From: A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul 


Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus. Finally, there was only one other family between us and the ticket counter. This family made a big impression on me.

There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. The way they were dressed, you could tell they didn’t have a lot of money, but their clothes were neat and clean. The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about the clowns, animals, and all the acts they would be seeing that night. By their excitement you could sense they had never been to the circus before. It would be a highlight of their lives.

The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be. The mother was holding her husband’s hand, looking up at him as if to say, “You’re my knight in shining armor.” He was smiling and enjoying seeing his family happy. 

The ticket lady asked the man how many tickets he wanted? He proudly responded, “I’d like to buy eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets, so I can take my family to the circus.” The ticket lady stated the price. The man’s wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man’s lip began to quiver. Then he leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?” The ticket lady again stated the price. 

The man didn’t have enough money. How was he supposed to turn and tell his eight kids that he didn’t have enough money to take them to the circus?

Seeing what was going on, my dad reached into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill, and then dropped it on the ground. (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!) My father bent down, picked up the $20 bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.” The man understood what was going on. He wasn’t begging for a handout but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate, heartbreaking and embarrassing situation. 

He looked straight into my dad’s eyes, took my dad’s hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied; “Thank you, thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.”

My father and I went back to our car and drove home. The $20 that my dad gave away is what we were going to buy our own tickets with. 

Although we didn’t get to see the circus that night, we both felt a joy inside us that was far greater than seeing the circus could ever provide.

What did I learn from this story?

Learnt the value of Giving.

The Giver is bigger than the Receiver. 

If you want to be large, larger than the life, learn to Give.

Only if you Give, can you Receive more. The Givers heart becomes the Ocean, in tune with the Almighty – The Source

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.


30 thoughts on “The Circus

  1. I haven’t heard about the series. But I do know now.

    Yesterday, I had a difficult discussion with my boss. When I came back home, I was angry and frustrated. My wife calm me down, I told her, I want to leave the dept.

    After sometime, when my boiling point calms down. I asked myself, what should I do and discuss with my wife.

    I was thinking to make a tough lesson, to show my importance to my boss. Since he is taking me for granted.

    But what the beautiful thing I learn is to give to get more. So I got my lesson for today, God will give more to me in return.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read a diff volume of chicken soup with similar messages. stories written by people who received extraordinary help. the father was setting an extraordinary example for his child and it is amazing to see peopld exhibiting such kindness in a world where we are just too busy for strangers

    Liked by 1 person

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