The Rest Of The Story – You Never Know

The Rest Of The Story – You Never Know

Do you recognize this gentleman? We would guess probably not. He likely doesn’t mean anything to you. But he did to two young Stanford students many years ago. And his story may touch and inspire you too.

“In 1892 at Stanford University, an 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea. He and a friend decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education.

They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck and the boys began to work to make the concert a success.

The big day arrived. But unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total collection was only $1600. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight.

They gave him the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honour the cheque at the soonest possible.

“No,” said Paderewski. “This is not acceptable.” He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys: “Here’s the $1600. Please deduct whatever expenses you have incurred.

Keep the money you need for your fees. And just give me whatever is left”. The boys were surprised, and thanked him profusely.It was a small act of kindness. But it clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being.

Why should he help two people he did not even know? We all come across situations like these in our lives. And most of us only think “If I help them, what would happen to me?” The truly great people think, “If I don’t help them, what will happen to them?” They don’t do it expecting something in return. They do it because they feel it’s the right thing to do.

Paderewski later went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland. He was a great leader, but unfortunately when the World War began, Poland was ravaged. There were more than 1.5 million people starving in his country, and no money to feed them.

Paderewski did not know where to turn for help. He reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help.He heard there was a man called Herbert Hoover — who later went on to become the US President. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of food grains to feed the starving Polish people.A calamity was averted.

Paderewski was relieved.

He decided to go across to meet Hoover and personally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, “You shouldn’t be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago, you helped two young students go through college. I was one of them.”

The world is a wonderful place. What goes around comes around. Please help others to the best of your ability. In the long run you may be helping yourself. God never forgets anyone who sows a good seed in other people, never.

Nothing in nature lives for itself. Rivers don’t drink their own water. Trees don’t eat their own fruit. Sun doesn’t give heat for itself. Flowers don’t spread fragrance for themselves. Living for others is the rule of nature. And therein lies the secret of living.”\

This is most likely not a story you have known about either Paderewski or Herbert Hoover, but now you know the rest of their story. We were struck by the idea that great people don’t think “What will happen to me if I help this person?’ but rather, “What will happen to them if I don’t help?” We can all be great in some way when we extend ourselves in helping someone else. Most especially when it is someone we don’t really know or who we would never expect to return the gesture. Your Two Chums believe we are all made in God’s image. What a joy when we can be even a little like Him by giving generously to others, just because bee can, and expecting nothing in return.

Be on the lookout for an opportunity to be “great” in the days ahead. Giving is one of the best ways to experience love, joy and abundant living, and wouldn’t the world be such a much better place if that was our goal. And remember, you never know who it is you might be helping and how it will one day be multiplied for even more good.

Jackie and Robin

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