Four brothers left home for college and became successful doctors and lawyers. Some years later, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who lived far away in another city.
The first said, “I had a big house built for Mama.” The second said, “I had a hundred thousand dollar theater built in the house.” The third said, “I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her.” The fourth said, “You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can’t read anymore because she can’t see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took 20 preachers 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a year for 20 years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it.” The other brothers were impressed.
Shortly afterwards, their mother sent out her thank you notes. She wrote: “Milton, the house you built is so huge I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.”
“Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good, though. Thanks.”
“Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound, it could hold 50 people but all of my friends are dead, I’ve lost my hearing and I’m nearly blind. I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same.”
“Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you.”
Somehow it appears that this mother would have preferred for her sons give her a little bit of themselves.