A Faded Flag

One day I stopped by my grandfather's home to see how he was doing. He was sitting on his front porch, hiding from the midday sun. I noticed that he had something folded over his lap--it was an old American flag. The flag was badly worn: the red of the flag was pink, the blue was so badly faded that the stars hardly stood out, and the edges were torn to treads. When I saw the flags condition I asked him, "Papa, why don't you just buy a new one?" He responded, "Well, I guess there's no need to buy a new one when I can just fix this one. I've had this one for about a year...they certainly don't make them like they used to." As I watched my grandfather slowly sew the rips I realized that I probably would have just tossed the flag in the trash and picked up a new one. Yet, I think that Papa's response was better. He was taking time and giving the flag another chance. If I ever find myself in a similar situation--working with something that is torn, faded and ready to be discarded--hopefully I'll think about Papa sitting on the porch with his needle and tread. Maybe I won't be so quick to discard the old for the new.

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