How We Treat People

This was sent to me via email from my cousin, Jon Tang, on April 29, 2003.


Five lessons to make you think about the way we treat people. 

1. First Important Lesson - 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 

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 - Always 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. "Fifty cents," 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. "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. 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 

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 & 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. 

Now you have 2 choices: 
1. Delete this email, or 
2. Forward it to people you care about. 

I hope that you will choose No. 2 and remember, "Work like you 
don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like 
you do when nobody's watching." 

NOW more than ever...May God bless you. 

Pass It On...Pay It Forward 

Last Updated: 053003