November 08, 2006

Conversations With Children

Five Great Lessons

Here are some stories I picked up in different places. I put them together here because I feel that they might help you to have some meaningful conversations with your children. There are some things in life that may not be taught in classes nor do we need a college professor to tell us they are are true, but your children still need to learn these great ideas! I hope that these stories will stimulate some meaningful discussions at your dinner table or on your next trip in the car with your kids:

Some Important Things Life Teaches Us ...


During a young lady's second month of nursing school, the professor gave the class a pop quiz. The young student was very conscientious and had breezed through the questions, until she read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke she thought. She had seen the cleaning woman several times. The lady was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how could the professor expect the students to know her name?

She handed in her test, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward 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." remarked the nursing student! "I also learned her name was Dorothy."


One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Cars were whizzing by and nobody seemed to be willing to stop to help her. Soaking wet, she hadall but given up hope when a young white man stopped to help her in an act generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance, hailed a taxicab, paid her fare and sent her on her way.

The lady had seemed to be in a big hurry but she wrote down his address, thanked him, got in the cab, and drove away. Seven days had gone by when a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain had drenched not only my clothes but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you and your act of kindness, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."


Mrs. Nat King Cole


In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old Boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a Glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" the boy asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the busy and impatient waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.

"How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some customers were now waiting for a table and the waitress grew a bit more impatient as she waited for the boy to make his decision.

"Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.

There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip. The boy had enough money for the sundae but if he had the sundae he would not have had enough for the tip!


In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.

As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand.

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.


Many years ago, as a doctor was working at Stanford Hospital, he got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-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 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 Liz."

As the transfusion progressed, the boy 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 serious and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "When will it happen?"

"When will what happen?" Asked the doctor.

"When will I start to die?" Asked the boy.

Being young, you see, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

The ideas in your head do rule your world! Perhaps these stories might be some ideas that you could offer to your children!

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