There once was a man who had a neighbor. The neighbor invited him to a great party. Food was shared. Everyone cared for each other and the man went home happy. He was surprised that the next week, his neighbor invited him over for another great party. He attended again and loved it again. The third week in a row, the neighbor invited the man to the party and the man became suspicious. “How can he afford to throw so many parties? Perhaps he is trying to trick us into doing something. I’ll not go. Besides, I’m tired of parties.”

But the man noticed that week after week, the neighbor continued to throw parties for whoever came. Often there were people there he did not recognize. Week after week, the neighbor invited him to parties. The man pitied his neighbor and started calling him names behind his back.

Then one day, the man took sick, lost his job, and could not afford to buy himself food. When his neighbor invited him to the party, he thought to himself, “what choice do I have? Besides, I want to see whether the parties are any good anymore.” When the man joined the party he found food and neighbors caring for each other just as he did at the first party. Tears filled his eyes as he realized he had been wrong about the neighbor.

Without anything to contribute, the man asked his neighbor how he could help. “You can’t,” he said, but instead gave him all the leftovers from the meal. “It’s too much,” said the man. The neighbor simply said, “Then, that’s how you can help.”