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5-Howard Kelly

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5-A Woman and a Beggar

One day, a poor boy who used to sell goods from door to door to pay his school expense, found that he had only one dime left with him. He was very hungry, so he decided to ask for a meal at the next house. However, he knocked the next house door and a lovely young woman opened the door. He got hesitated to see that woman and instead of asking for a meal he asked only for a drink of water. He looked hungry to her, so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked - "How much do I owe you for this milk?" "You don't owe me anything." she replied softly. "Mother has taught us never to accept anything for a kindness." He said - "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man became stronger. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Year's later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was also called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hallway of the hospital to her room. He was dressed in his doctor's gown. As he entered the room, he recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room immediately and determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle the doctors saved her life.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and sent the bill to her room. She feared to open the bill, for she was sure that it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she opened it and looked at it. Some note caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read the words: "Paid in full with one glass of milk"

[Every good deed is rewarded. Never hesitate to do anything good to anybody]

Dr. Howard Kelly was a distinguished physician who, in 1895, founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. According to Dr. Kelly's biographer, Audrey Davis, the doctor was on a walking trip through Northern Pennsylvania one spring day when we stopped by a farm house for a drink of water.

This is one of many wonderful stories in The Power of Kindness. The great English writer, Aldous Huxley, was a pioneer in the study of philosophies and techniques to develop human potential. In a lecture toward the end of his life, he said this: "People often ask me...what is the most effective technique for transforming their lives?"
He then said, "It's a little embarrassing that after years and years of research, my best answer is just be a little kinder."
This is the paradox of the power of kindness. It doesn't feel powerful at all. In fact, it almost feels too simple to be important. But as Huxley said, it is the #1 thing that can transform your life.
How can that be? Because simply put, kindness is the foundation of a good heart and with a good heart...a good life will follow.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/05/13