Tuesday, January 16, 2007

5 Great Lessons

Enjoy these 5 stories that illustrate lessons that life teaches us. I wish I could note where I got this--it has been in my files for ages since my mom shared it with me. These are great!

First Important Lesson ~ Everyone is significant.
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. 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.

Second Important Lesson~ Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 PM, 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 taxi cab. 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. 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 others."
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole

Third Important Lesson ~Always remember those who serve you.
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 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." 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.

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.

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 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 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 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 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. You see understanding and attitude, after all, is everything.

"Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt,
Dance like you do when you think no one is watching."


Jane said...

wow, these are amazing illustrations and bringing across the truths of humility and service. If you don't mind I am going to cut and paste them and put them in my ministry folder. Thanks Kelly.

Dianne said...

Ever since I heard that first story, I have made it a point to know the names of the cleaning people where I work. And I've been blessed because of it.

Loved the post about your brother too. So neat you're close like that. My sis and I always wished for a brother and we'd have wanted one just like yours!

Wendy said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing.
I love the quote at the end too.

Peach said...

These stories are powerful. Thanks for posting them. I'll be trying to dance today like no one's watching: )

Alicia said...

I read these lovely stories in the original (though I don't remember where either), and was happy to read them again. Thanks.

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for sharing those! They are such sweet stories! I also love the quote at the bottom ~

Susie said...

These are beautiful stories and great truths to live by. You have a beautiful blog and beautiful heart! I'll be back to hear more.

Julie said...

Oh my GOSH, let me just try to pull myself together here. What touching, beautiful stories!

#1 perfectly describes my pastor. He has a HEART for people, and knows nearly every person's name in our somewhat large church. Because he CARES about people. What an incredible lesson to learn.

I loved #2 as well. I read that the true mark of a great person is how they treat someone who can do them absolutely no good.

And #5? Oh my gosh...would that we were ALL so generous!

*Still dabbing the tears here!*

Mike said...

Love the stories, especially #2.

Have a great day.


Emily said...

loved the stories!

Chris said...

Those are such great illustrations.

I think I will have to copy these too for my file.

Kim said...

I loved these! I think I have read some of them before...The one about the little boy and the ice cream is so sweet.

Thanks for sharing these.


momrn2 said...

I was going to try and pick my favorite one. I can't! They are all amazing. Thanks for sharing them!!

Leslie said...

Thank you Kelly!!

Kimber said...

Hi Kelly,

Sorry I haven't been by much - life has just been busy here :)

I have enjoyed your posts - very touching :)

Hope all is well with you and yours.


Paula said...

What beautiful lessons.

Cyndi said...

Oh my WORD. I'm sitting here crying. The fifth story just got me. Great illustrations!