The little stories below, have been sent to me over the years by friends and, in turn, I have forwarded them on to others who I thought would enjoy reading them. One or two of them are quite moving, particularly the first and last. If you wish to copy and paste them to give to someone else - or to use on your own website, please feel free.
The power of actions
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle.
It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives. “He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.
He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said Yes
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! “He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke.
I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous.
Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends...
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story." I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.
He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.
Most Important Question
During my second month of nursing school, 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 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.
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.
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?" "Fifty cents," replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the 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 departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.
One day the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?", asked the father.
The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."
Isn't perspective a wonderful thing?
Faith of a little girl
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in
the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even.
The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.
Carefully placing the coins back in the the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.
She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good.
Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.
"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell
me how much it costs."
The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"
"I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."
"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago. "One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live I want
to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery.
The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.
"That surgery," her Mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?" Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost.
one dollar and eleven cents ...... plus the faith of a little child.
(Apparently a true story - google for Carlton Armstrong and check if you are bored)
A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.
The Obstacle 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 big stone out of the way.
Then a peasant come along carrying a load of vegetables. On 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.
As 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 others never understand.
Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford 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 5-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 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 Liz."
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 boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood.
"Can I Borrow £20 please ?"
(It's not what you think, just read it)
A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door.
SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'
DAD: 'Yeah sure, what is it?' replied the man.
SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'
DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.
SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'
DAD: 'If you must know, I make £40 an hour.'
SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.
SON: 'Daddy, may I please borrow £20?'
The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.'
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that £20 and he really didn't ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.
'Are you asleep, son?' He asked.
'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.
'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the £20 you asked for.'
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.
The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.
The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.
'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled.
'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied.
'Daddy, I have £40 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.'
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.
It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that £40 worth of your time with someone you love.
If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours.
However the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.
If any of these little stories have
meant something to you, do feel
free to cut and paste them to others
Lastly, something that I think is the perfect way to say "desperately sad but ingenious" with one picture:
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming
WOW!! What a ride!!!"