This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the greatest gift. Answer it as if it were a question, or show what it could be. Go where the prompt leads you!
As usual, my mind jumps all over the place trying to find somewhere solid to land.
Do you remember learning the comparative and superlative at school?
great greater greatest
But what could be described as the greatest, indeed the greatest gift?
Muhammad Ali had no trouble in declaring that he was the greatest.
And ever since reading Charli’s post, I haven’t been able to get Whitney Houston out of my head.
According to liveaboutdotcom, Whitney Houston“has been cited by the Guinness Book of Records as the most awarded female performer of all time.” It appears that those awards were not enough. Perhaps had she been able to find that love, it would have been her greatest gift
Then there’s a chant I used to hear in the playground. A group of girls would gather and one would call out, “I am the greatest”. Others would respond, “No you’re not.” Then everyone would do a handstand. And so, it would repeat. I think whoever held the handstand the longest was entitled to call, “I am the greatest.” If only it were that easy.
If one was to be the greatest at anything, would that be the greatest gift?
I’ve often said that a love of reading is one of the greatest gifts that a parent can give a child.
It is one of the greatest gifts not only for the joy that reading can give, but even more because the ability to read is empowering. It enables one to fully participate in what societies have to offer, to navigate one’s way through our complex environments and seek knowledge for oneself.
If it is but one of the greatest gifts, what are the others, and is there one that is greatest of them all? Is it the gift of life? Of unconditional love? Of being accepted as you are? The most expensive car? The biggest house? The largest inheritance?
Was winning the World Heavyweight Championship the greatest gift for Muhammad Ali? The greatest number of awards wasn’t the greatest gift for Whitney Houston.
I think it’s too difficult to intellectualise. I’ve gone back to the concrete thinking of six-year-olds for my answer.
The Greatest Gift
The class was aflame with a mix of sadness and excitement.
“She’s is leaving.”
“She’s gunna have a baby.”
“I’m gunna bring her a gift.”
“I am too.”
On her final day, the children jostled to give first, hopeful she’d love their gift the best.
“Mine’s bigger than yours.”
“Mine’s the greatest.”
The children gloated and nudged each other as the teacher opened the gifts.
“This is great.”
“Thank you, everyone.”
Finally, Tommy edged forward. His hands were empty. He looked shyly into his teacher’s eyes and whispered, “I’ll miss you, Miss. You’re the best.”
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.