Just A Little Kindness

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A young man, a student in one of our
universities, was one day taking a walk with a
professor, who was commonly called the
students’ friend, from his kindness to those who
waited on his instructions. As they went along,
they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes,
which they supposed to belong to a poor man
who was employed in a field close by, and who
had nearly finished his day’s work.
The student turned to the professor, saying: “Let
us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes,
and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and
wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find

“My young friend,” answered the professor, “we
should never amuse ourselves at the expense of
the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself
a much greater pleasure by means of the poor
man. Put a coin into each shoe, and then we will
hide ourselves and watch how the discovery
affects him.”

The student did so, and they both placed
themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor
man soon finished his work, and came across
the field to the path where he had left his coat
and shoes. While putting on his coat he slipped
his foot into one of his shoes; but feeling
something hard, he stooped down to feel what it
was, and found the coin. Astonishment and
wonder were seen upon his countenance.
He gazed upon the coin, turned it round, and
looked at it again and again. He then looked
around him on all sides, but no person was to be
seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and
proceeded to put on the other shoe; but
his surprise was doubled on finding the other
coin. His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his
knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a
fervent thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his
wife, sick and helpless, and his children without
bread, whom the timely bounty, from some
unknown hand, would save from perishing.

The student stood there deeply affected, and his
eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the professor,
“are you not much better pleased than if you had
played your intended trick?”
The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson
which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of
those words, which I never understood before: ‘It
is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

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