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More than You Wish For
Ahmed, Age 15, Pakistan

Sara had been taught the significance of charity and sharing since childhood. Belonging to an average family, Sara didnít possess all the luxuries of life. Her family didnít own an LCD television, a computer, or any such high-tech gadgets. She didnít even have a telephone to communicate with friends. However, this never got in the way of her happiness. She was indeed a cheerful child and very optimistic about life.

At school most of her classmates belonged to average families; however, she had a few rich, bratty kids as classmates too. They would always tell exaggerated stories and boast about how and where they celebrated their birthdays, had family lunches, dinners, etc. She tried to keep away from them but like every child, soon fell prey to jealousy.

She recalled a lecture her teacher once gave during class. Her teacher had told them, ďWhen you give someone something, fate rewards you with twice as much!Ē Sara contemplated this phrase. She decided to collect her pocket money and help people more frequently, in the hope of being rewarded with double as much. However, she didnít receive much in return. She began to question herself and wonder if what her teacher had said was untrue. So she decided to put this question forward to her teacher.

The next day, as usual, the richer kidsí self-importance and arrogance got the better of Sara. Sara waited anxiously for the day to end. The last lesson seemed to go on for hours. But as soon as the bell was rung, Sara quickly put her books away and was about to approach her teacher with the question when she heard someone crying. She recognised the voice; it was Anum, her close friend.

Sara hurried to see what was the matter. Anum told her that a classmate who shared her lunch with Anum was demanding money in return. Sara knew Anumís parents would be angry if she asked them for money, so she consoled her and offered to pay the money for her. Anum hugged her saying she was indeed her best friend. Sara felt proud of being able to help a friend in need.

As Sara walked away from Anum, she suddenly realised that she had found the answer to all her questions. She wouldnít want Anum to pay her back double; she wouldnít want her to pay her back at all, for she helped her because she cared about her. And then Anumís genuine appreciation meant the world; Sara didnít need anything else.

The next morning, as Sara got dressed for school, the same thoughts ran through her mind. Lost in thought, Sara completely forgot that it was her birthday. However, as she reached her classroom, she saw that it was beautifully decorated and all her classmates wished her well and sang for her. Sara had the most awesome day she could have ever imagined. It was then that she learnt that you donít receive double what you give to others, but what you do receive can be more than you can ever wish for.

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