The Pink Handkerchief

A young man was sitting on a park bench, with his head in his hands, feeling desperate. He was not sure how much longer he could go on. He was angry and close to tears. Suddenly he noticed a beautiful girl sitting next to him.

“Why are you so sad?” She asked him suddenly.

“My life is a total mess” said the young man in a whisper. “Everything and everyone is against me. I have absolutely no luck. Nothing good ever happens to me. I don’t know how much longer I can go on.”

“Oh dear”, the girl sighed, “where do you keep your pink handkerchief? Show it to me. I would like to have a look at it.”

“What is a pink handkerchief? I only have a black handkerchief”. He handed it to her silently. The girl looked at the handkerchief and shivered. “It’s full of anxiety, of deep unhappiness, of horrible experiences!”

“That’s what I told you. What can I do about it? I cannot change my life.”

Take this”, said the girl offering him a pink handkerchief. “Look into it!” Hesitantly the boy all opened it and saw that it was full of happy, pleasant memories.

“And where is your black handkerchief?” He asked curiously.

“Every day I throw it in the bin and I don’t think any more about it. I put all the most beautiful moments of my life in my pink handkerchief, so when I feel a bit of sadness coming on or discouragement I open my handkerchief and I say to myself: open ‘this is my real life!’”

The young man had no time to reply. The girl landed a kiss on his cheek and disappeared. In her place on the bench was a pink handkerchief and on it was written “for you”.

He opened it and saw that it was empty except for that tender little kiss that the girl had given him. At the thought of it he smiled and felt his heart grow warm and he felt a great desire to begin again.

In her letters, St Maria Dominica Mazzarello tells us: “Be always cheerful and when you have worries put them all into the heart of Jesus” [47, 10]