Read an Excerpt
1 On Love
Love: The One Creative Force
Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next- door neighbor. . . . Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
A college professor had his sociology class go into the Baltimore slums to get case histories of 200 young boys. They were asked to write an evaluation of each boy's future. In every case the students wrote, 'He hasn't got a chance.' Twenty-five years later another sociology professor came across the earlier study. He had his students follow up on the project to see what had happened to these boys. With the exception of 20 boys who had moved away or died, the students learned that 176 of the remaining 180 had achieved more than ordinary success as lawyers, doctors and businessmen.
The professor was astounded and decided to pursue the matter further. Fortunately, all the men were in the area, and he was able to speak to each one. 'How do you account for your success?' In each case the reply came with feeling: 'There was a teacher.'
The teacher was still alive, so he sought her out and asked the old but still alert lady what magic formula she had used to pull these boys out of the slums and into successful achievement.
The teacher's eyes sparkled and her lips broke into a gentle smile. 'It's really very simple,' she said. 'I loved those boys.'
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-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 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 Liza.'
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in a 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 boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.
You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments that stand out, the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
A Brother Like That
A friend of mine named Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. 'Is this your car, Mister?' he asked.
Paul nodded. 'My brother gave it to me for Christmas.' The boy was astounded. 'Boy, I wish . . .' He hesitated.
Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.
'I wish,' the boy went on, 'that I could be a brother like that.'
Paul was astonished. He asked the boy, 'Would you like a ride?'
After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, 'Will you stop where those two steps are?'
He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car.
'There she is, Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn't cost him a cent. And someday I'm gonna give you one just like it . . . then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Christmas windows that I've been trying to tell you about.'
Paul got out and lifted the lad to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.That Christmas Eve, Paul learned what Jesus meant when He had said: 'It is more blessed to give . . .'
©2008. Eric Butterworth, Dan Clark and Dan Millman. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.