- Amazing True Story
This is a true story that had happened in 1892 at Stanford University. It's
moral is still relevant today.
A young, 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. A friend and he 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 $2,000 for the piano recital. A deal
was struck. And the boys began to work to make the concert a success. The
big day arrived. Paderewski performed at Stanford. But unfortunately, they
had not managed to sell enough tickets.
The total collection was only $1,600. Disappointed, they went to
Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1,600,
plus a cheque for the balance of $400. They promised to honour the cheque
soonest possible."No" said Paderewski. "This is not acceptable" He tore up
the cheque, returned the $1,600 and told the boys "Here's the $1,600.
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 over 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.
The head was a man called Herbert
Hoover -who later went on to become the 31st President
of the United States. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of
food grains to fee 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 in the US. I was one of them."*
*The world is a wonderful place. .*