Are you a One-egg Woman or an Eight-cow one?
Mahesh Chavda tells this story from the Polynesian islands about a young tradesman who was quite successful in his business, becoming the wealthiest man in the area. He fell in love with a young woman and wanted to marry her. According to the custom in Polynesia, a man who desired to marry would go to the girl’s father and give him a gift in exchange for her hand in marriage. If the woman was beautiful and the man desired her desperately, the common gift was a cow. If she was extraordinarily lovely, the gift might be two cows. If she was “moderate” in her looks, the standard gift was a goat. If she really needed help, her suitor could win her hand by giving her father a few chickens.
The rich young tradesman fell in love with a young maiden who was one of the plainest-looking women in all of Polynesia. Her father probably would have accepted a single chicken – or even a single egg – for her. According to custom, as the oldest daughter she had to be married before her more attractive younger sister could be wed. She needed a husband, but her prospects were not very good until the young tradesman came along. He approached her father with a proposal of marriage and offered his gift. The father, hoping for maybe a goat, but willing to settle for a chicken, was astounded when the young man presented him with eight cows! Such an extravagant gift was unheard of, even for the most ravishingly beautiful woman!
When asked why he gave such an extraordinary gift for the woman, the young man answered, “I love her. To me, she is the most beautiful woman in the world.” According to Polynesian history, that woman, knowing that she was loved and prized so highly by her husband, actually became the most beautiful woman in all of Polynesian. Her husband paid the highest price for her. She was the “eight-cow woman.”
This story reminded me of a young lady who committed suicide many years ago. In her suicide note, she wrote “I’ve become a nobody to a nobody.” When a special someone noticed her and saw her as a person of potential, she was built up, she became somebody and that person also became a somebody in her eyes.
Then that person decided to end the relationship. The young lady considered him a nobody because this somebody now considers her a nobody.
It is significant how much others’ acceptance and affirmation of ourselves give us the reason to soar like eagles. But we should not depend solely on others’ prompting – we must ultimately believe in ourselves.