life is a give and take

bajenaghe naghi
by bajenaghe naghi

last week i took a one day trip with maryam's uncle. on the way back we stopped at a convenient store and bought some chocolates and one dozen bottles of cold drinking water. after a short stop we got back into the car and continued our trip back to omaha. it did not take too long before we both needed to go to the bathroom again. so we stopped again. I went in first and afterward i went back to the car. uncle took a long time to get back and when he did he came out of the store with six more bottles of water under his arms. i was surprised to see him buying more water when we still had six more bottles left from our last shopping spree. so i asked him. he told me that the guy who owns the store is not in the business of providing free toilets to the public. he is in the business of selling and making a living. he then said that he believes in taking and giving rather than just taking. if i use his bathroom then i have to buy something from him. i can not sleep at night knowing that i have used something without giving back something in return. i thought his way was too extreme but it made sense somehow. 


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bajenaghe naghi

ali jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

it is always so good to see you around. welcome back. i am glad i know what you look like so when you come to my store for some pee pee relief i make sure to smile at you ear to ear and don't look at you left lefty. and thanks for not being messy. i hate cleaning after grown up men. :-)

bajenaghe naghi

anonymous iranian jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

to me and you $5 may be excessive for a pee pee relief but to uncle may be it was well worth it. i should have asked him at the time but i did not. 

Ali P.

There is always a next time

by Ali P. on

  I am not a huge fan of using convenient stores' bathrooms (who is?), but there have been times when I had no choice. In a few instances, when I really didn't need anything, I just walked out afterwards (unlike Maryam's gracious uncle). BUT, I did try to notice the look on the clerk's face: If he, or she, looked at me left-left(!), I would just keep walking, and probably try not go back to that store again.

But if he looked at me with a smile, I'll make sure I buy all my gas and junk food from that store, for the next few weeks.


Fair enough?

Ali P.

 P.S. I am also proud to say,unlike some of you out there ( you know who you are!) I am  NOT an extra-messy type, if you know what I mean :-)


Taking it to an extreme

by Anonymous Iranian (not verified) on

It is true that the joy of giving is more than the joy of taking,but if Maryam's uncle used the rest room and spent $5 at the store, that is taking the statement to an extreme.

bajenaghe naghi

kaveh jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

religions have been advising this for a long time i think they call it tithe in america. but we should do it voluntary and not just because religion tells us to do it. god bless you.

bajenaghe naghi

mn jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

some times people are mean. they don't want to do the right thing and so they start telling off the people who want to do the right thing. that is how it goes and we can't do much about it other than follow our own hearts. 

Kaveh Nouraee

BN jaan

by Kaveh Nouraee on

Thank you for sharing this story.

I hope the lesson it contains finds its way into the hearts and minds of everyone who reads it.


I double and triple agree

by MN (not verified) on

I double and triple agree with Maryam's uncle.
I always use "khodet ro jay-e digaran bezar"
Would I like to be in the other person's shoes?
I was taught this and numerous other things by a very great man.
I try my best to put it into practice at all times... unfortunately I am not successful all the time.
I try to do what is right regardless of what others do or what they think of my way.
I have been teased many a time for trying to do the right thing "in this day and age?" they ask!
Yet finally a lot of people see a different side to the story and some get to think about values.
I have my own conscience
and my God to answer to.
Kudos to Maryam's uncle and to you for discussing this matter.
The Best

bajenaghe naghi

ebi jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

as the americans sometimes say, to give is to receive.

ebi amirhosseini

Bajenaghe Aziz !

by ebi amirhosseini on

A very thoughtful & baavojdaan man.As the saying in Farsi goes:

" Az har dast ke bedi, az hamoon dast pas migiri"!.

My version :

" For Good deed,sky is the limit!"

bajenaghe naghi

nazy jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

you are so very right. giving elevates the giver's spirits and brings joy and hopefully comfort to the recipient. I have no scientific data to prove this, but i also believe that the giver will eventually receive back at least double of what he gives to others.   

Nazy Kaviani


by Nazy Kaviani on

Good for Maryam's uncle! I think he has figured out a very valuable lesson in life. What he said absolutely makes sense to me Bajenagh Jan. I think you should give and take in life. I think you should give in life whether or not you receive something in return.

Sometimes people think they are really clever (zerang) when they take and don't give anything in return. I don't see any cleverness in that!

I go to people's book readings all the time. Though books aren't cheap, I cannot understand Iranians who come to a struggling Iranian author's book reading and won't consider buying a copy of the author's book. The same Iranians might pay up to $100 for a music concert.

I go to a monthly lecture series in Berkeley. Lecturers are usually Iranians of note, authors, scholars, poets, etc. There is a sign at the table that says something like "A $10 donation is appreciated," or some such wording, and I'm always appalled to see these pretty affluent Iranians come and attend the lectures and leave without paying to help the organization to arrange further lectures.

Of course many Iranians are also very generous of the heart and their checkbooks. I have seen many give money anonymously to various charities (there is no "take" there other than a private and personal satisfaction), or to worthy causes all over the world.

I think when we are generous to others, regardless of whether we receive something in return or not, our overall vantage point to the world changes and becomes a more positive one.