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Very touching lessons for how we treat people

Cactus Flower
June 28th, 2005, 02:21 PM
(I just received this in an email. I found it very poignant).

Five (5) lessons to make you think about the way we treat people.

1 - First Important Lesson - 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 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, at11:30 p.m., an older African American
woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway
trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. 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 1960s. 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 hi s 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

Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - 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 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
our condition.

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.

June 28th, 2005, 02:35 PM
That was a great post CF! Another one I will have to send to friends and family.

BTW what does your siggy mean????

June 28th, 2005, 02:41 PM
I've received that e-mail many, many times, and that last one always makes me cry. :o

June 28th, 2005, 04:45 PM
First time I've seen it . . . and . . . . . thanks!

Cactus Flower
June 28th, 2005, 04:53 PM
BTW what does your siggy mean???? "It's better to suffer an injustice than commit one".

June 28th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Good post. The first one I know very well. My friend had the same cleaning lady for his entire life... I asked him what her name was and he answered, "How the h*ll should I know?" Pretty much lost all respect for him right then and there. What a snob!!

I also learned that you can't always assume the worst of people. One girl showed up to a class with no paper, no pens, not at all prepared. She asked around for some help and nobody gave her a thing. I passed a few papers down, along with a pen. The guy beside me wrote me a note saying I "shouldn't reward these lazy people. She's just gonna ask again tomorrow." Later on she approached me and thanked me. She had been having the worst of the worst days, and her school bag was stolen on top of it all.

I just remember the scene in "What Women Want" where the girl is super suicidal and nobody notices. Nobody steps out of their lives for even a minute to see if she's ok. Sure people may be lazy, may be shallow, and greedy, but if you miss an opportunity to really help somebody who needs it, what is the point?

June 28th, 2005, 09:34 PM
Wow! Very touching to say the least. Great post, thank you! The one with the little boy and the ice cream, oh man! :love:

June 28th, 2005, 09:43 PM
I passed that around work this afternoon, everyone enjoyed.

for the record, our cleaning person is Rudy! :party: ;) :crazy: :p

June 29th, 2005, 12:36 AM
I love the meaning in messages like this. Despite some of it being fictional.

The Man Who Helped A Stranded Motorist Who Turned Out to Be Mrs. Nat King Cole-Fiction! (

June 29th, 2005, 11:38 AM
The one about the boulder ... that is actualyl a huge pet peeve of mine. Ppl that don't stop toclear a roadway. Seriously, ti doesn't take that long.
My area gets tons of thunderstorms with wicked rain, so we get branches across the streets which can cause accidents and what not.

June 29th, 2005, 11:44 AM
It kinda fits in here.....

I was out for my lunch time walk and just returning to work. I saw an elderly lady was exiting the mall with the "deer in the headlights" look in her eyes. I could see she was confused and disoriented. I took a moment to approach her and see if she needed help, directions or whatever, and she was flabergasted that one soul would actually stop and ask her. She and I had a lovely chat and I got her to her pick up stop and made sure she was okay. I'm sure it made her day, and it certainly made mine :p

Cactus Flower
June 29th, 2005, 12:09 PM
Safyre, I agree! We have the same problem here, but it's falling rocks from the mesas.

I love the way this thread is turning! Prin and Lezzer, thanks for sharing your stories! Please, keep them coming!

June 29th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Great post, CF. I really love this thread! :thumbs up
Kudos to you, Lezzerpezzer and Prin, for your good deeds! :highfive:
People are often so distracted, caught up in their own activities, they dont always "see" signs of distress.

My elderly mother is now in a nursing home -but used to live just two blocks from my home. For 15 years, she'd walk down for tea a few times a week - a little outing and excercise that she enjoyed.
Dementia began affecting her, but she was in denial, trying with all she had to stave it off. One day she got to the end of our long street, then forgot where my house was. She became disoriented and frightened, turned to go back home, but didnt know how to get there either. Where was she?
A young woman in her yard noticed her fearfully looking around and came to her aid. She determined she was in fact on the right street, walked along with her till she spotted and recognized our house. I was SO grateful for this woman's alertness and kindness in coming to rescue her from the terror she felt.
She left before I could even thank her - just watched her come inside, then on her way. Just a "good deed" she offered, likely long forgotten.

It was a day I always remember, though. A sad realization came home for both of us that afternoon. :sad:

Cactus Flower
June 29th, 2005, 01:25 PM
That is both heartwarming AND heartwrenching, Shamrock!

June 29th, 2005, 03:20 PM

That touched my heart deeply. It's funny how we get caught up in the day-to-day struggle of living and then don't realize how precious even the simplest moments are/were to us.

June 29th, 2005, 04:03 PM
Ok, I have a story that is.. a bit backwards to the point of the thread...
I was 15 yrs old, and we had a wicked storm move through our area. Tornadoes spotted, and straight line wind damage all over. me and my bf at the time decided we were going to help clear the streets, out on our bicycles.
We get to this old ladys house, who has lost a tree that was close to 75 yrs old, its covering her car, her yeard, it was bad. So we stopped and started to help her ... the entire neighbourhood ended up over there. We all picked up power tools, saws and anything, and cleared her yard for her.
As we were heading home, my tire got caught in a train track and i flipped off my bike, hurt my necka nd broke my two front teeth. one tooth broke the bone completely, and I walked around all summer long with no front tooth. I stopped helping ppl for a lil while, felt like i had done a good deed and bad things came back.

I do ofcourse, stop and help now again. I love to help ppl, that 'thanks' is ALWAYS worth the trouble.

June 29th, 2005, 05:14 PM

you shuodl always be good to ppl, you never know when you will be in their position.... not to mention no one wants a huge karma debt, i think you will get worse karma for not helping a fellow human or animal than any other action....

and the last line of that little poem is so true, i always watch what i say to strangers you never know when you may jsut push someone over the edge or make them miserable simply because you could not take 5mins to be kinder...

Karma is too much of a b#$%% to mess with........

June 29th, 2005, 10:14 PM
That little poem made me think of something-- people always say, "I was going to tell them that .... but then the subject changed." I say, the window is never gone. If you have something to say, say it. Change the subject back. People act like conversation is etched in stone as it occurs. It's dynamic, people! Your voice is the one thing in life that you DO control. I always live life like I'll be lucky to see a person again. One day, I won't.