Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 24, 2010

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.  “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Old Jack – an inspirational story

December 31, 2009

Old Jack

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

‘Leave me alone,’ he growled.

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. ‘Are you hungry?’ she asked.

‘No,’ he answered sarcastically. ‘I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.’

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

‘What are you doing, lady?’ the man asked angrily. ‘I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. ‘Is there any problem, ma’am?’ he asked.

‘No problem here, officer,’ the woman answered. ‘I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?

The officer scratched his head.  ‘That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?’

‘See that cafeteria over there?’ she asked. ‘I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.’

‘Are you crazy, lady?’ the homeless man resisted. ‘I don’t want to go in there!’ Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.

‘Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.’

‘This is a good deal for you, Jack,’ the officer answered. ‘Don’t blow it…’

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table.

‘What’s going on here, officer?’ he asked. ‘What is all this. Is this man in trouble?’

‘This lady brought this man in here to be fed,’ the policeman answered.

‘Not in here!’ the manager replied angrily. ‘Having a person like that here is bad for business.’

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. ‘See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.’

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. ‘Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?’

‘Of course I am,’ the manager answered impatiently. ‘They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.’

‘And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?’

‘What business is that of yours?’

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.’

‘Oh.’  The woman smiled again. ‘I thought that might make a difference.’ She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. ‘Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?’

‘No thanks, ma’am,’ the officer replied. ‘I’m on duty.’

‘Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?’

‘Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.’

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, ‘I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.’

The officer watched him walk away. ‘You certainly put him in his place,’ he said.

‘That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this’

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. ‘Jack, do you remember me?’

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes ‘I think so — I mean you do look familiar.’

‘I’m a little older perhaps,’ she said. ‘Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.’

‘Ma’am?’ the officer said questioningly.  He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

‘I was just out of college,’ the woman began. ‘I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything.  Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.’

Jack lit up with a smile.  ‘Now I remember,’ he said. ‘I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy’

‘I know,’ the woman continued. ‘Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the price of my food in the cash register I knew then that everything would be all right.’

‘So you started your own business?’ Old Jack said.

‘I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up.    Eventually I started my own business, that, with the help of God, prospered.’ She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. ‘When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.’  She smiled.

‘I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.’

There were tears in the old man’s eyes. ‘How can I ever thank you?’ he said.

‘Don’t thank me,’ the woman answered. ‘To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus… He led me to you.’

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. ‘Thank you for all your help, officer,’ she said.

‘On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,’ he answered. ‘Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And… and thank you for the coffee.’

If you have missed knowing me, you have missed nothing. If you have missed some of my emails, you might have missed a laugh.

But, if you have missed knowing my LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, you have missed everything in the world.

Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You Always. And don’t forget that when you ‘cast your bread upon the waters,’ you never know how it will be returned to you.

(Hope this is repeated many times today!)

God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart.

Never Judge Someone

November 2, 2009

Never judge someone…

‘Some people!’ snorted a man standing behind me in the long line at the grocery store.

‘You would think the manager would pay attention and open another line,’ said a woman.

I looked to the front of the line to see what the hold up was and saw a well dressed, young woman, trying to get the machine to accept her credit card. No matter how many times she swiped it, the machine kept rejecting it.

‘It’s one of them welfare card things. Damn people need to get a job like everyone else,’ said the man standing behind me.

The young woman turned around to see who had made the comment…

‘It was me,’ he said, pointing to himself.

The young lady’s face began to change expression. Almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card onto the counter and quickly walked out of the store. Everyone in the checkout line watched as she began running to her car. Never looking back, she got in and drove way.

After developing cancer in 1977 and having had to use food stamps; I had learned never to judge anyone, without knowing the circumstances of their life. This turned out to be the case today.

Several minutes later a young man walked into the store. He went up to the cashier and asked if she had seen the woman. After describing her, the cashier told him that she had run out of the store, got into her car, and drove away.

‘Why would she do that?’ asked the man. Everyone in the line looked around at the fellow who had made the statement.  ‘I made a stupid comment about the Welfare card she was using.  Something I shouldn’t have said. I’m sorry,’ said the man.

‘Well, that’s bad, real bad, in fact.  Her brother was killed in Afghanistan two years ago. He had three young children and she has taken on that responsibility. She’s twenty years old, single, and now has three children to support,’ he said in a very firm voice.

‘I’m really truly sorry. I didn’t know,’ he replied, shaking both his hands about.

The young man asked, ‘Are these paid for?’ pointing to the shopping cart full of groceries.

‘It wouldn’t take her card’ the clerk told him.

‘Do you know where she lives?’ asked the man who had made the comment.

‘Yes, she goes to our church.’

‘Excuse me,’ he said as he made his way to the front of the line. He pulled out his wallet, took out his credit card and told the cashier, ‘Please use my card. PLEASE!’ The clerk took his credit card and began to ring up the young woman’s groceries.

Hold on,’ said the gentleman. He walked back to his shopping cart and began loading his own groceries onto the belt to be included. ‘Come on people. We got three kids to help raise!’ he told everyone in line.

Everyone began to place their groceries onto the fast-moving belt. A few customers began bagging the food and placing it into separate carts. ‘Go back and get two big turkeys,’ yelled a heavyset woman, as she looked at the man.

‘NO,’ yelled the man.    Everyone stopped dead in their tracks. The entire store became quiet for several seconds. ‘Four turkeys,’ yelled the man. Everyone began laughing and went back to work.

When all was said and done, the man paid a total of $1,646.57 for the groceries. He then walked over to the side, pulled out his check book, and began writing a check using the bags of dog food piled near the front of the store for a writing surface. He turned around and handed the check to the young man.

‘She will need a freezer and a few other things as well,’ he told the man.

The young man looked at the check and said, ‘This is really very generous of you.’

‘No, ‘ said the man. ‘Her brother was the generous one.’

Everyone in the store had been observing the odd commotion and began to clap.  And I drove home that day feeling very American.

We live in the Land of the free, because of the Brave!!

Remember our Troops of Yesterday and Today!!!

A great example of why we should be kind and patient.
Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.

May God’s many blessings continue to be with you  –  ALWAYS!!!

MAY THIS KEEP GOING… IT WILL OPEN A LOT OF EYES, HOPEFULLY   SOME HEARTS, AND KEEP SOME MOUTHS SHUT…


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