A STORY OF GENEROSITY (GIVE AND RECEIVE)

  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 cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honour the cheque at the soonest possible.

“No,” said Paderewski. “This is not acceptable.” He tore up the cheque, 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.”

God never forgets anyone who sows a good seed in other people, never.

The biblical moral of the story emphasizes the principles of kindness, generosity, and the cyclical nature of goodness. Here are some key points based on biblical teachings:

  1. Generosity and Kindness: The story illustrates the importance of being generous and kind to others, even when it is not convenient or easy. Paderewski's willingness to help the struggling students reflects the biblical call to love and serve others selflessly. As Proverbs 11:25 says, "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
  2. Reaping What You Sow: The story shows how acts of kindness can come back to bless us in unexpected ways. This aligns with Galatians 6:7-9, which states, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows... Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
  3. Helping Others in Need: The story emphasizes the importance of helping those in need without expecting anything in return. Jesus taught in Matthew 25:35-40 that when we help those in need, we are serving Him: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
  4. God's Remembrance: God never forgets acts of goodness and kindness. Hebrews 6:10 reminds us, "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them."

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 there in lies the secret of living.

The story teaches us to be kind and generous, to trust that good deeds will come back to us in due time, and to help others as an expression of our faith and love for God.

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.

              REMEMBER THE WORDS THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF SAID:                                                                            ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.

INSPIRATIONAL TALE