The "Most Caring Child"
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing ... I just helped him cry."
Two Nickels and Five Pennies
When an ice
cream sundae cost much less, a boy entered a coffee shop and sat
at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of
"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 impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said angrily.
The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream."
The waitress brought the ice cream and walked away. The boy finished, paid the cashier, and departed. When the waitress came back, she swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies -- her tip.
The Golden Gift
Some time ago, a
friend of mine punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a
roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight, and he became
infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy."
He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don't you know that when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside of it?"
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy."
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her forgiveness. My friend told me that he kept that gold box by his bed for years. Whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us as parents has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
What It Means to Be Adopted
Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One
little boy in the picture had a different color hair than the
other family members.
One child suggested that he was adopted and a little girl named Jocelynn Jay said, "I know all about adoptions because I was adopted."
"What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child.
"It means," said Jocelynn, "that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy."
A four year old was
at the pediatrician for a check up. As the doctorlooked
down her ears with an otoscope, he asked, "Do you think I'll
find Big Bird in here?" The little girl stayed silent.
Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. He asked, "Do you think I'll find the Cookie Monster down here?" Again, the little girl was silent.
Then the doctor put a stethoscope to her chest. As he listened to her heart beat, he asked, "Do you think I'll hear Barney in here?"
"Oh, no!" the little girl replied. "Jesus is in my heart. Barney's on my underpants."
As I was driving
home from work one day, I stopped to watch a local Little League
baseball game that was being played in a park near my home.
As I sat down behind the bench on the first-baseline, I asked one
of the boys what the score was.
"We're behind 14 to nothing," he answered with a smile.
"Really," I said. "I have to say you don't look very discouraged."
"Discouraged?" the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. "Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet."
Roles And How We Play Them
disappointed with my spot in my life, I stop and think about
little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in a
His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what Mum," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me: "I've been chosen to clap and cheer!"
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I as 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.
Say a Prayer
I was taking my usual morning walk when a garbage truck pulled up beside me. I thought the driver was going to ask for directions. Instead, he showed me a picture of a cute little five-year-old boy.
"This is my grandson, Jeremiah," he said. "He's on a life-support system at a Phoenix hospital." Thinking he would next ask for a contribution to his hospital bills, I reached for my wallet. But he wanted something more than money. He said,"I'm asking everybody I can to say a prayer for him. Would you say one for him, please?"
I did. And my problems didn't seem like much that day.
Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 pm, an older African-American woman was standing on the side of a 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 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! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away.
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant combination console color TV and stereo record player were delivered to his home.
A special note was attached. The note read:
"Dear Mr. James,
Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but 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".
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of a recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor 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 Liza."
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 her all his blood.
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 came 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.