The Star Coins (or Claiming Our Gifts)

One of my favorite little known fairy tales is the very short German story, Die Sterntaler (The Star Coins). The story is about an orphaned girl, who has only the clothes on her back and a small crust of bread some kind soul had given her.

Thinking she has nothing, the girl sets out into the countryside to seek her fortune. On the way meets a hungry man to whom she gives her bread and three freezing children to whom she gives her cap, her jacket and her dress. After they walk away, she looks up at the heavens to see thousands of stars falling from the sky as they turn to glittering coins that land at her feet. As a reward for her kindness, she lives out her days in abundance and happiness.

As short and simple as it is, this story contains big lessons about many things, not least among them kindness and how we view abundance. But it also contains an important lesson about the gifts we have to give.  

As little as this girl had, she actually possessed some pretty significant gifts. She was kind. She was compassionate. It would have been easy for her to stay small and say, "I have nothing, what can I do?” but she was willing to share what gifts she had to help others. And even more than that, she made the world better by sharing them and you can do the same thing with your gifts.

Sometimes we wonder, “What could I possibly have to give?” But we ALL have gifts. Sometimes we have even more of them than we realize. And I’m not just talking about the clothes on our backs, but important gifts like our kindness, our compassion, our talents, our skills. So often these are the same things that make our hearts sing. And why wouldn’t you want to claim some of that joy for yourself?

The author Leo Buscalia once wrote: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is God’s gift to the universe.”

So I ask you, what are your gifts and how can you share them? Are you a great organizer? A good listener? A mathematical genius? An amazing musician? Cook? Friend? Daughter? Mother? Whatever it is, the truth is that our gifts are meant to be shared and our world needs your light more than ever.

So, what are you waiting for?

How can you be of service? What gift are YOU going to share with the universe?