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 50s, 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. - Second Important Lesson - 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.
"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
Mrs. Nat King Cole.
3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those
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 is 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 - Fourth Important Lesson. - 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 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
5 - Fifth Important Lesson - 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 &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 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 cheek. 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.