Tuesday, October 6, 2015


     I was recently given a packet of Medura brand teabags by Australian acquaintances visiting the United States. It is a lovely blend of Ceylon and Australian black tea leaves that I am enjoying each morning.  I find the directions on the bag intriguing.

     Must one be reminded to use the teabag only once?

     I suppose there are frugal persons in the world who feel it is wasteful not to squeeze every ounce of flavor from the leaves, and for some it may even be a necessity. I must confess, I have tried it myself a few times, but the second cup is always too bitter and I would rather go without.

     I had a friend in college who was raised in India. Her parents were missionaries there for many years. She told me her family had received some bizarre packages from the States over the years, but there was only one which made her mother weep. It was a box of used teabags. Someone, who couldn't bear to throw the bags away after using them only once, had taken the trouble to save them up, pay the postage and send them all the way to India, the second largest tea producer in the world.

     I would have cried, too.

     It was a profound lesson to me on the nature of generosity and I rarely throw a teabag into the trash bin without being reminded of it. It takes grace to become a truly generous soul.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the missionary family and to me , as a new Christian, it made my heart sad. Now in retrospect I think some of the dear little old ladies I met at church ( and surely one of them sent the teabags ) probably really thought she was giving them something they would appreciate , AFTER she'd had her own tea. A tiny bit more of a generous heart might have caused her to send something a family in the land of amazing tea could appreciate more, but she was probably ignorant of the truth of life in India. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, sometimes ignorance is stupidly tragic. Your last line " I rarely throw a teabag into the trash bin without being reminded of it" is true of me too.