Stories & Fables to Warm Your Heart

 

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Click a link below to go to a particular story:

 

©    A Purposeful Life

 

©    Marines and Tampons  

©    How Children Describe Love

 

©   The Fable of the Spoons

 

©   The Donkey and the Farmer

 

©   What Goes Around Comes Around

 

©   Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers

 

©   A Dog's Life

 

©   Roadside Rescue

 

©   Better Than Ice Cream

 

©   The Obstacle In Our Path

 

©   Giving When It Counts

 

©   The Cleaning Lady

 

©   Saying Grace in a Restaurant

 

©   The Brick

 

     

 

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A Purposeful Life

- Author unknown
               

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

 

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Marines and Tampons
- Author unknown, but this story reportedly comes from the mother of a Marine in Iraq
                         

My son told me how wonderful the care packages we had sent them were and wanted me to tell everyone thank you. He said that one guy we'll call Marine X received a girl care package and everyone was giving him a hard time. My son said, 'Marine X got some really nice smelling lotion and everyone really likes it, so every time he goes to sleep they steal it from him' I told my son I was really sorry about the mistake, and if he wanted I would send Marine X another package. He told me not to worry about Marine X because every time I send something to him, Marine X thinks it's for him too. 


He said when my husband and I sent the last care package, Marine X came over to his cot picked up the box, started fishing through it, and said, 'What'd we get this time?' 

My son said they had the most fun with Marine X's package. He said he wasn't sure who we were sending the pack to, but the panties were size 20, and he said one of the guys got on top of the Humvee and jumped off with the panties over his head and yelled, 'Look at me, I'm an Airborne Ranger!!!!' One of the guys attached the panties to an antenna and it blew in the wind like a windsock. He said it entertained them for quite awhile. Then of course.......they had those tampons. When he brought this up, my imagination just went running, but he continued. My son said they had to go on a mission and Marine X wanted the Chap-Stick and lotion for the trip. He grabbed a bunch of the items from his care package and got in the Humvee. As luck would have it he grabbed the tampons too, and my son said everyone was teasing him about 'not forgetting his feminine hygiene products.'

He said things went well for a while, then the convoy was ambushed and a Marine was shot. He said the wound was pretty clean, but it was deep. He said they were administering first aid but couldn't get the bleeding to slow down, and someone said, 'Hey! Use Marine X's tampons!' My son said they put the tampon in the wound. At this point my son profoundly told me, 'Mom, did you know that tampons expand?' ('Well....yeah!')  They successfully slowed the bleeding until the guy got better medical attention. When they went to check on him later The surgeon told them, 'You guys saved his life. If you hadn't stopped that bleeding he would have bled to death.' My Son said, 'Mom, the tampons sent by the Marine Moms by mistake saved a Marine's life.'

At this point I asked him, 'Well, what did you do with the rest of the tampons?'
He said, 'Oh, we divided them up and we all have them in our flak jackets,and I kept two for our first aid kit.'

I am absolutely amazed by the ingenuity of our Marines. I can't believe that something that started out as a mistake then turned into a joke, ended up saving someone's life. My sister said she doesn't believe in
mistakes. She believes God had a plan all along. She believes that 'female care package' was sent to Marine X to save our Marine.  If that's the case, God truly does work in mysterious but wonderful ways.

 

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How Children Describe Love

- Author unknown


A group of researchers posed the question “What does love mean?” to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.  Below were some of the answers. 


“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.” – Rebecca, age 8

”When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”  - Billy, age 4

 

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”  - Karl, age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french fries without making them give you any of theirs.'” – Chrissy, age 6

“
Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.” – Terri, age 4

“
Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.” – Danny, age 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”  - Emily, age 8

”Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” – Bobby, age 7 [Wow!]

”If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” – Nikka, age 6 [We need a few million more Nikka's on this planet]

”Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.”  - Noelle, age 7


”
Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” – Tommy, age 6

”During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.  He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.” – Cindy, age 8


”
My mommy loves me more than anybody.  You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.”  - Clare, age 6

”
Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.” – Elaine, age 5

”
Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.” – Chris, age 7

”
Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” - Mary Ann, age 4

”
I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'” - Lauren - age 4

”
When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” (what an image) – Karen, age 7

”
Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.” – Mark, age 6

”
You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'” - Jessica, age 8

AND THE FINAL ONE: 

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 what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

 

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The Fable of the Spoons

- Author unknown

 

A holy man was having a conversation with God one day and said, "God, I would like to know what heaven and hell are like."

 

God led the holy man to two doors.  God opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.  In the middle of the room was a large round table.  In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.  The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.  They appeared to be famished.  They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.  But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.  God said, "This is what hell is like."

 

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.  God then opened the door to the next room.  It was exactly the same as the first one.  There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.  The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.  God said, "This is what heaven is like."

 

The holy man said, "I don't understand" and God replied, "It’s simple.  Where heaven exists, all are satisfied and happy because they help feed eachother.  Where hell exists, all starve and feel emptiness because they think only of themselves."

 

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The Donkey and the Farmer

- Author unknown

 

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

 

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

 

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help  him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

 

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

 

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! 

 

Shake it off and take a step up!

 

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What Goes Around Comes Around 

- Author unknown

 

He almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help.  So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out.  His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

 

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried.  No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so ..  was he going to hurt her?  He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

 

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt.  It was that chill which only fear can put in you.

 

He said, "I'm here to help you, ma'am.  Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm?  By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson." Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough.

 

Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two.  Soon he was able to change the tire.

 

But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.  As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him.  She told him that she was from St.  Louis and was only just passing through.  She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.

 

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.  The lady asked how much she owed him.  Any amount would have been all right with her.  She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.

 

Bryan never thought twice about being paid.  This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past.  He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.  He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, "And think of me."

 

He waited until she started her car and drove off.  It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

 

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe.  She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home.  It was a dingy looking restaurant.  Outside were two old gas pumps.  The whole scene was unfamiliar to her.  The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair.  She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase.  The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude.  The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger.  Then she

remembered Bryan   After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill.

 

The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door.  She was gone by the time the waitress came back.  The waitress wondered where the lady could be.

 

Then she noticed something written on the napkin.  There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: "You don't owe me anything.  I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you.  If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you."

 

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.  Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day.  That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written.  How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it?  With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.

 

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's gonna be all right.  I love you, Bryan Anderson."

 

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Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers 

- Author unknown

 

Captain Kangaroo passed away on January 23, 2004 at age 76 (which is odd, because he always looked to be 76 ;) [DOB: 6/27/27]

Some people have been a bit offended that another actor, Lee Marvin, is buried in a grave alongside 3- and 4-star generals at Arlington National Cemetery.  His marker gives his name, rank (PVT) and service (USMC).  Nothing else.  Here's a guy who was only a famous movie star who served his time, why the heck does he rate burial with these guys?  Well, following is the amazing answer:

I always liked Lee Marvin, but didn't know the extent of his Corps experiences.  In a time  when many Hollywood stars served their country in the armed forces often in rear echelon posts where they were carefully protected, only to  be trotted out to perform for the cameras in war bond promotions,  Lee Marvin was a genuine hero.  He won the Navy Cross at Iwo Jima.  There is only one higher Naval award...  the Medal Of Honor!   If that is a surprising comment on the true character of the man, he credits his sergeant with an even greater show of bravery. Lee was interviewed by Johnny Caron on "The Tonight Show."  Following is the dialog from that show:

 

Johnny:  "Lee, I'll bet a lot of people are unaware that you were a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima ...and that during the course of that action you earned the Navy Cross and were severely wounded."

Lee:  "Yeah, yeah... I got shot square in the bottom and they gave me the Cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi. Bad thing about getting shot up on a mountain is guys getting' shot hauling you down.  But, Johnny, at Iwo I served under the bravest man I ever knew...  We both got the Cross the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison.  That dumb guy actually stood up on Red beach and directed his troops to move forward and get the hell off the beach.  Bullets flying by, with mortar rounds landing everywhere and he stood there as the main target of gunfire so that he could get his men to safety.   He did this on more than one occasion because his men's safety was more important than his own li fe.
That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends.  When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a smoke and passed it to me, lying on my belly on the litter and said, "Where'd they get you Lee?"  "Well Bob... if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse!"
Johnny, I'm not lying, Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew.  The Sergeant's name is Bob Keeshan.  You and the world know him as Captain Kangaroo."
 

On another note, there was this wimpy little man (who just passed away) on PBS, gentle and quiet. Mr. Rogers is another of those you would least suspect of being anything but what he now portrays to our youth. But Mr. Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name.  He wore a long-sleeved sweater on TV, to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps.  He was a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat

 

After the war Mr. Rogers became an ordained Presbyterian minister and therefore a pacifist.  Vowing to never harm another human and also dedicating the rest of his life to trying to help lead children on the right path in life.  He hid away the tattoos and his past life and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm.

Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers were real heroes.  Look around and see if you can find the other heroes in your midst.  Often, they are the ones you'd least suspect.

 

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A Dog's Life 

- Author unknown

 

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

 

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Roadside Rescue

- Author unknown

 

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 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 1960's. 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

 

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Better Than Ice Cream 

- Author unknown

 

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.  'Fifty cents,' replied the waitress.  The little boy pulled is 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.  'Thirty-five cents,' 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.  The kind little boy had given up a sundae so that he would have enough for her tip.  Even at his young age, he knew the importance of helping to take care of others.  Even when it involves a sacrifice, it's still better than ice cream.

 

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The Obstacle In Our Path

- Author unknown

 

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:  That every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

 

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Giving When It Counts 

- Author unknown

 

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 cheek. 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.

 

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The Cleaning Lady 

- Author unknown

 

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 50's, 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.

 

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Saying Grace in a Restaurant 

- Author unknown

 
Last week, I took my children to a restaurant.  My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.  As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert! Amen!"
 
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country.  Kids today don't even know how to pray.  Asking God for ice cream!  Why, I never!" 
 
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"
 
As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”
  "Really?" my son asked.  "Cross my heart," the man replied.   Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes." 
 
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. 
 
He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman.  With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you.  Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.”

 

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The Brick 

- Author unknown


A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

 

The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister, please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."  With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother, "he said "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."


Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.


It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!" Our inner guide whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, it has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.