Athina Kappu

Undergraduate student, University of Athens,

Department of Turkish & modern Asian studies

Since I was a little girl, I remember listening to this story.

There were once, two neighbours, two completely different neighbours. One day, one of them had his birthday and the other one thought of giving him a “special” gift. He took a basket and filled it with dirt and rubbish then he put a nice ribbon and went to his door. When he presented his gift the other smiled kindly and thanked him. Soon after, our “lovely” friend-you know the one with the dirt and rubbish-had his own birthday, and so his neighbour decided that it was a nice idea to offer him a gift. He also took a basket, he made it look absolutely beautiful and then filled it with the most beautiful flowers from his garden. After a while he went to his neighbour’s home and gave him his gift. When our “lovely” friend saw the gift, he was outraged. He asked him how was it possible to offer him a gift like that when he himself gave him dirt and rubbish? The other one smiled and said: “you gave me dirt and rubbish because this is what you had and I gave you flowers because this is what I have.’’

In one song, there is this a lyric that says: “what we eat is what we give’’ and us people we are exactly like that. We give what we have inside us, what we “ate” in our lifetime. Some got plenty of love, others just a little and others no love at all. And then we have those who got judgment, bullying and hatred. But most of us got a little bit of everything. At some point in our “journey”, we understood that everything is not just black or white; it’s actually grey, a combination of the two. Then, we decided consciously or unconsciously who we will become. In this world there are as many flavours as there are people and that is why each of us made his own ice cream. Chocolate or double chocolate, chocolate and vanilla, or some strawberry and some caramel… When we chose our flavours none of us cared about someone else’s ice cream because we were happy and proud for our own ice cream (even though at some point we all got tempted and tasted someone else’s ice cream.)

Yes, we all have met those mean, fussy, pettish, wayward, inhibited people in our lives… Those people never had a good ice cream (or in some cases no ice cream at all!) and for some reason this is our fault! It’s okay my dear friend, just smile, offer them a cigarette, turn and leave. On the other hand, people treat us the way we allow them to. Partially this is true, but you are not responsible for their insults because thank god you have your own problems. What did you say? Revenge? if you still thinking about this solution, take the cigarette I mentioned above and smoke it yourself. Life is short for the ones who have a small soul, you just have to smile.