Monday, July 25, 2011

Some stuff to think about

A friend sent this to me. It's one of those "make you think" series of anecdotes making its way around the internet.

Five Lessons About the Way We Treat People

1. Cleaning Lady

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

“What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello.’”

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. Pickup in the Rain

One night at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway, trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.

A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance, and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.

Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read:

“Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's' bedside just before he passed away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.

Mrs. Nat King Cole”

3. Always Remember Those Who Serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4. The Obstacles in our Path

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many of us never understand: Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5. Giving When it Counts

Many years ago when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor. He thought he was going to have to give his sister ALL of his blood in order to save her.


  1. I really should know better than to read these kinds of things when it's so dusty. Sniff.

  2. #5, "Giving when it counts" sure choked me up, but what's really sad is how little these "make you think" anecdotes affect the snarks of the world. I've been reading some of the comments on the WND site that follow WND's many excellent articles, and it's alarming how many liberal-minded individuals feel they have to comment with foul language, hate and intolerance. All the while accusing the authors of hate and intolerance, of course! What keeps me from losing my temper with these individuals is something my wife pointed out to me: Their attitude, language and actions show the rest of the world what hateful hypocrites they truly are! They're only hurting themselves.

  3. I'm a rough tough Army SGT, Middle East war VET .. u can't make me tear up!! ... ok so maybe you can.

  4. Morality tales are always interesting. They used to be taught in reading class, until the liberals thought they were too "quaint" or "preachy."

    Anonymous Patriot

  5. I managed the IT team at a data center for a large telecommunications company. We hired the best of the best. At the end of the interview process, I would show the person interviewing around the data center with the sole purpose of finding the cleaning lady. I would introduce them and see how they treated her. If they were indifferent or too "busy" to look her in the eye and shake her hand - know matter how skilled they were, I thanked them for their time and never saw them again. People matter. People matter. People matter.


  6. #5 Makes me tear up because I work at a Children's Hospital. The stories I could tell you. Seems it is the Little Ones that don't know how to hate yet, maybe we could all take a lesson.

    God Bless you Darlin!

  7. I remember these! They were written by Robert Fulgum either in "Uh Oh!" or "It was on fire when I lay down on it" He has a very real way with making you feel his words. Look for the story that is in Greece, about the meaning of life...

  8. These are very good words of wisdom and honorable conduct, Patrice. Thanks for putting this up. There's scarcely a way to measure the sweetness of even the simplest human kindness.

    I've always "judged" people by two criteria, not solely, obviously, but they are the way a person treats animals and whether having them along hunting or (God forbid, real TEOTWAWKI)would be an asset or a dangerous liability.

    Call me a cavewoman. lol

    A. McSp

  9. I have always tried to live by the Golden Rule. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail - I can only hope I succeed more than I fail. These little morality lessons should be a must read & learn for all - starting as soon as they can be understood.
    I've often found young children to be more perceptive and older adults.

  10. These are definitely a copy and paste - as Bellen said, "these...morality lessons should be a must read & learn for all..."


  11. You know, Bellen, you've hit on something I've always found utterly mystifying, and that is the fact our school system doesn't give philosophy, ethics and civics the same curricular emphasis as mathematics and reading. (And of course we won't get me started on the arts, because we'd need a whole new blog..)

    It's one of our greatest educational failings in my view, and nothing says more for the need of home and charter schooling.

    A. McSp