An Inspiring Story
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 check for the balance $400. They promised to honor the check at the soonest possible.
“No,” said *Paderewski*. “This is not acceptable.” He tore up the check, 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* .