Five (count 'em) 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, in her 50s, and, I was almost certain, a transvestite, 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’ or ‘hey, those toilets aren’t gonna clean themselves’.”
I've never forgotten that lesson. Never take Introductory School Employee Names 101.
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 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 1970s. 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. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
Sincerely, Mrs. Idi Amin.
3. Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve ice cream.
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, and you could have a man killed for $5.00, 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, silently wishing she had a job at a coffee shop with more than one table. The little boy again counted his coins. “How much is ice cream without a dish?” “Twenty cents,” she answered. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, dropped the scoop 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 eight nickels, three dimes and seven pennies...
You see, the boy was very, very dumb.
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. He was between Crusades. 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, and asked what were they paying taxes for, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. The king put them on a list marked “To Be Boiled In Oil”.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of mutton and treacle. 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 pottage and leeks, he noticed a purse laying 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, and that persons who had merely rolled the boulder off the purse should put the gold back. The peasant took coins loudly proclaiming his blessings to the king, who subsequently had the peasant drawn and quartered for Interfering With The Royal Boulder Without Leave.
The peasant learned what many of us never understand: Two hands don't make the dish, but another can just as well.
5. Fifth Important Lesson - Giving till it hurts.
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 and photogenic 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. In retrospect, the doctor perhaps should have spoken to their parents, but he was in charge so I said nothing. I saw the little boy hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her and you give me candy."
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, a sure sign that her Cheek Cancer had been cured. Then the boy’s face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with 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. Boy, we all had a good laugh over that.
Posts: 307 | From: California | Registered: Jan 2004
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Remember, "Work like you don't need the monkey, love like a crazy monkey, and dance the Monkey like you do when nobody's watching."
-------------------- "No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/ Posts: 7581 | From: Gainesville, Georgia | Registered: Jun 2000
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