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How To Treat Others: 5 Lessons From an Unknown Author

Five Lessons About How To Treat People
-- Author Unknown

1. First Important Lesson - "Know The 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 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.

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 1960s. 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. 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.

3. Third Important Lesson - "Remember Those Who Serve"

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. "50¢," 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. "35¢!" 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.

4. Fourth Important Lesson - "The Obstacles 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."

5. 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.

Courtesy of INSPIRE21


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Comment by a;slkdfhasodifhw2e on September 4, 2010 at 11:02pm
Such an interesting story about Nat King Cole's wife! She received assistance on an Alabama highway so she could get to her husband's bedside just before he passed away. The driver must have had quite a car considering that Nat King Cole died in Santa Monica, California - about 2000 miles away!
Comment by acoustic dreamer on August 28, 2010 at 11:50am
I thought that these were great lessons, and I enjoyed reading them. Honestly, I should probably stop reading comments on these things as they only seem to annoy me... one particular response, I feel I must respond to.

"Story 5 is simply silly in the real world: nobody is going to sacrifice themselves to save someone else, so why teach we should do this? It's absurd."

Perhaps that particular story isn't true, it was still an interesting story. I do however, know that there are people willing to sacrifice their lives for others. Maybe that is how you feel about yourself, and that is fine. As for myself, as a member of the military, I would give my life to protect one of my comrades or family, even others, like yourself, that I will never have the chance to meet. I get a sense of belonging when being a part of something bigger than myself. I feel that it is all too easy to forget that we are meant to look out for eachother in this world: We are all in this together. Whether there is a heaven or hell, or when we die that is all there is to it, in my last dying moments, I want to know that I lived my life as the best possible person I could be.
Comment by TODD CONN on August 25, 2010 at 10:26am
To the last comment! Nothing personal! It is your choice not to like them but I really think you should look at why you don't! This world does teach different things! I think we all were born to love and taught to hate! Some people think otherwise but the stories are meant to me as life lessons that need to be taught. the man that moved the boulder didn't do it because he knew there was something in it for him. He did it because it need to be done! I was taught the same lesson by my grandfather if you see something in your path that needs to be done. DO IT! like a piece of trash just pick it up why not who cares who left it there. In a way to me its like God put it there for me. just to pick it up. I don't go to church as much as I need to but I do have a relationship with my GOD. I am sorry you feel the way you do but last as to your absurd comment about No One sacrificing themselves to save some else read the bible the same man that you talk about did so for ME and YOU! Many of my brother to god have also done the same look all around you how many people die to protect others every day of our lives.
Comment by Bob Fry on August 24, 2010 at 7:49pm
It doesn't matter whether these stories are real or not, they only represent something important to the storyteller. But here's why I don't like them: 2 of them (2 & 4) strongly suggest that we will be directly rewarded for doing good. Real life teaches otherwise, as does Jesus; do good for its own sake, not in hope of some reward. Story 5 is simply silly in the real world: nobody is going to sacrifice themselves to save someone else, so why teach we should do this? It's absurd.
Comment by Sarah D on August 24, 2010 at 5:50pm
I personally think that this is a wonderful collection of lessons.

To you neigh-sayers, isn't it enough that the lesson is true and touching? Especially the tranfusion one. If you read the Snopes article carefully, it simply doubts the truth of one story in CHICKEN SOUP, not, as you claim, the whole story. Children are incredibly powerful and generous creatures, it does not surprise me that a child was willing to give his own life for that of his sister. And the whole idea behind a folk tale, or legend is that it is not true, but gives a good lesson, not something to criticize. Why can't we just face our challenges head on instead of mocking them?
Comment by Beelzebub on July 4, 2010 at 6:12am
WOW, message received. Move impossibly heavy rocks and get paid by the Dictator who has nothing better to do than watch your ass pushing. Why did he sit in the bush in the first place? Wasn't the purse of gold under the bolder? So why the fu&k is he chilling in the bush? He didn't put the purse there afterward, because he left a note in it to explain the lesson. So he was just watching on the off chance that someone might talk sh*t about him? Does he not have a Mutta Fucin kingdom to run? This guy probably didn't last long as king. Were his bodyguards in the bush to? I know when rocks fall on my street I usually blame the President. I have a story. A once famous ruler was asked to catch a thief who had stolen goal out of a mans Vegetable cart. The Cart owner told him10 gold had been taken, The Ruler finally caught the thief and ran a spike through him. The ruler then returned the 10 gold plus one extra gold piece to the Cart while the cart owner was taking a dump. Upon the cart owners return he was told his gold had been returned. The Owner counted his gold and informed the Ruler that 1 extra gold had been put added to the total amount. The Ruler told the Owner that had he neglected to mention the extra gold piece, The owner would have been impaled on a spike as well. Know who the Ruler was? Vlad The Impaler. Know what the moral of this story is? Kings are fu*kin out of their minds. Please don't expect to get paid for preforming potentially dangerous deeds. If there is a giant boulder in the road, let a construction crew deal with it... The economy is awful right now and they could use the work.
Comment by Greg Israelsen on June 28, 2010 at 9:37pm
Comment by Rory Cassin on June 21, 2010 at 5:30pm
This will be the first blog I've ever commented on and I have to say that the only reason I'm commenting on it is because it was the most moving blog I've ever read. Thanks and I will try my best to keep these lessons at the front of my mind.


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