A young and successful executive was traveling down aneighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked carsand slowed down when he thought he saw something.
As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a bricksmashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakesand backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had beenthrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbedthe nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"
The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please! I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," he pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop!"
With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair?He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidlyswelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicappedboy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchiefand dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts.
A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you" the grateful child told the stranger.
Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy pushhis wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair thedented side door.
He kept the dent there to remind him of this message "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"
During my second month of nursing school, 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 towards 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 Dorothy.
For you my child, born to besieged citybathed in blood, I bow my head.
Breathe deep, oh, child of war,my gift to you this day, the breath of life.
Draw hope, from freedom's gaspinhale, for I mere mortal man,exhale humanity.
I bear no arms againstthe beauty at my breast;bask in my benevolence.I cradle you, treasured infant.I, a surrogate, mother, you rest, that I might bring you shelter.
Bring back my youth,the child beneath these battered walls,and not the prodigy of battle.
For bonded by a blanket,soaked and stained, you and I,our souls are still the same.
Courage or cowardice, truth or lies, wisdom or folly, life or death;war distorts.
God speed, my little one.I protect you; glory, grace and virtue,personified through child and man.
Today, my precious ragged urchin,you will live.Compassion for the child has conquered all.The tragedy of life that brought us here,Pales beneath the guidinghand of God.
And this my innocent of war is victory.
You live, life lasts, war ends, time moves on.