Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Philosophy - Four Important Lessons

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 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 Clara.

2 - Second 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. 

"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.

3 - Third Important Lesson - The obstacle 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.

4 - Fourth 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 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.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.



  1. Reading your post this morning really started my day off right Larry. You've covered some great important lessons.

  2. Larry, thank you for the lessons we all need to hear over and over.

  3. So very true…great post. BTW, I've been having a lot of trouble with my comments going through on blogspot but today it seems to be working.

  4. These are all very good Larry. Thanks for posting this one. Great way to start my day. Love your header photo. We're actually getting Spring weather this week. It's beautiful here.

  5. So glad you posted these Larry. Made my day and made me do some thinking. Need to improve some things in my life.

  6. Thought provoking lessons.

    We love our janitor at my kids' school. His name is Kevin and I gave him a huge box of cookies for Christmas this year. I can't tell you how much these simple cookies meant to him. We have staff appreciation week coming up and the kids were asked to write thank you notes to some of the staff excluding their teachers. My daughter chose to write a note to Kevin. I was quite proud of her! He keeps our school tidy, always has a smile for the kids & parents, and doesn't bat an eye when he has to clean up after a sick child. What a guy!

  7. Thanks for that lovely thoughtful message today Larry. And thank you for that gorgeous cover photo! Spring has arrived in your neck of the woods :)

  8. I never saw janitors in college, but the cook in our dorm was Otto, and his helper was Marge. They were cheerful and wonderful. Your stories were very thought provoking.

  9. It was a pleasure to stop here and read your lessons, Larry! Thank you :)

  10. Beautiful Larry. Also I love your Spring header.

  11. Hello on a gorgeous, spring day in TENNESSEE. Wow---after the long and bitter winter we had this year, Spring is even more inviting and lovely.

    Love these lessons. If we ALL lived by all four of them, the world would be a much better place.

    We are now home 'again' --after our 5th trip since the end of February.... Seems as if we visited five different states --although the trips weren't planned for that reason... ha... BUT--as I always say, it's great to be home... I did publish a blog post today--so check it out when you have time. Have a wonderful weekend.


  12. Loved your philosophy lesson, Larry!

    What a beautiful header shot - I'm sure it's at your place. We're getting there but nothing like that!


I appreciate and enjoy your comments