Archive for October 9, 2011


This is a true story that had happened in 1892 at Stanford University. Its moral will always be relevant.

A young, 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea. A friend and he decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education. They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck. And the boys began to work very hard to make the concert a success.

The big day arrived. Paderewski performed at Stanford. But unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total collection was only $1600. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honour the cheque soonest possible. “No.” said Paderewski. “This is not acceptable.” He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys “Here’s the $1600. Please deduct whatever expenses you have incurred. Keep the money you need for your fees. And just give me whatever is left” The boys were surprised, and thanked him profusely.

It was a small act of kindness. But it clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being. Why should he help two people he did not even know? We all come across situations like these in our lives. And most of us only think “If I help them, what would happen to me?” The truly great people think, “If I don’t help them, what will happen to them?” They don’t do it expecting something in return. They do it because they feel it’s the right thing to do.

Paderewski later went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland. He was a great leader, but unfortunately when the World War began, Poland was ravaged. There were over 1.5 million people starving in his country, and no money to feed them. Paderewski did not know where to turn for help. He reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help. The head there was a man called Herbert Hoover – who later went on to become the US President. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of food grains to feed the starving Polish people. A calamity was averted.

Paderewski was relieved. He decided to go across to meet Hoover and personally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, “You shouldn’t be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago, you helped two young students go through college in the US. I was one of them.”

The world is a wonderful place. What goes around comes around!

I got an email that read as follows :

” When I was in elementary school, I got into a major argument with a boy in my class. I have forgotten what the argument was about, but I have never forgotten the lesson learnt that day.

I was convinced that “I” was right and “he” was wrong – and he was just as convinced that “I” was wrong and “he” was right. The teacher decided to teach us a very important lesson. She brought us up to the front of the class and placed him on one side of her desk and me on the other.

In the middle of her desk was a large, round object. I could clearly see that it was black. She asked the boy what color the object was. “White,” he answered. I couldn’t believe he said the object was white, when it was obviously black! Another argument started between my classmate and me, this time about the color of the object.

The teacher now, told me to go stand where the boy was standing and told him to come stand where I had been. We changed places, and now she asked me what the color of the object was. I had to answer, “White.” It was an object with two differently colored sides, and from his viewpoint it was white. Only from my side was it black.

My teacher taught me a very important lesson that day:

Moral : “You must stand in the other person’s shoes and look at the situation through their eyes in order to truly understand their perspective

Chinese way to prevent cheating at schools is probably the most effective in the world. This device is placed on the head of the student in a way that the student can only see their own work. Teachers of the world, take a note! 😉

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.