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The Secret of Happiness
The old man shuffled slowly into the restaurant. With head tilted and shoulders bent forward, he leaned on his trusty cane with each unhurried step.
His tattered cloth jacket, patched trousers, worn out shoes, and warm personality made him stand out from the usual Saturday morning breakfast crowd. Unforgettable were his pale blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds, large rosy cheeks, and thin lips held in a tight, steady smile.
He stopped, turned with his whole body, and winked at a little girl seated by the door. She flashed a big grin right back at him. A young waitress named Mary watched him shuffle toward a table by the window.
Mary ran over to him, and said, 'Here, Sir . . . let me give you a hand with that chair.'
Without saying a word, he smiled and nodded a thank you. She pulled the chair away from the table. Steadying him with one arm, she helped him move in front of the chair, and get comfortably seated. Then she scooted the table up close to him, and leaned his cane against the table where he could reach it.
In a soft, clear voice he said, 'Thank you, Miss . . . and bless you for your kind gestures.'
'You're welcome, Sir.' She replied.
'And my name is Mary. I'll be back in a moment and if you need anything at all in the mean time, just wave at me!'
After he had finished a hearty meal of pancakes, bacon and hot lemon tea, Mary brought him the change from his bill. He left it lay on the table. She helped him up from his chair and out from behind the table. She handed him his cane and walked with him to the front door.
Holding the door open for him, she said, 'Come back and see us, Sir!'
He turned with his whole body, winked and smiled, then nodded a thank you. 'You are very kind.' he said softly.
When Mary went to clean his table, she almost fainted. Under his plate she found a business card and a note scribbled on a napkin. Under the napkin was a one hundred dollar bill.
The note on the napkin read . . . 'Dear Mary, I respect you very much and I can see you respect yourself too. It shows by the way you treat others. You have found the secret of happiness. Your kind gestures will shine through to all those who meet you.'
The man she had waited on was the owner of the restaurant where she worked. This was the first time that she or any of his employees had ever seen him in person.
Written by Steve Brunkhorst
Great friendship is a hard thing to come by in this world and should be something that should be held on dearly to when it is found. A great friendship is defined as a friendship between two people that can never be broken, and that will never be dishonored or disavowed for any reason. Great friends treat each other with the utmost respect, and are able to laugh together, cry together, and be there for one another when either side needs a shoulder to lean on. A great friend will never forsake the other, and a great friend will never make someone less of a person than were before, but will instead help make their friend the best person that they can possibly become. A great friendship is one without judgment, one with the acceptance of who a person really is, and one with an undying trust to the very end.
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door!
He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jag back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. He jumped out of the car, grabbed some kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting,
“What was that all about and who are you? Just what do you think you are doing?” Building up a head of steam, he went on. “That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”
“Please, mister, please. I’m sorry, but I didn’t know what else to do!” pleaded the youngster. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop.” Tears were dripping down the boy’s chin as he pointed around the 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.” Sobbing, the boy asked the 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 rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and God bless you,” the grateful child said to him. The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long walk back for the man to his Jaguar…a long, slow walk. He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.