The Second World War could have ended differently if not for a random act of kindness by former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was a military general at the time. His kind deed not only saved his own life but likely prevented the defeat of the Allied Forces.
One frigid winter day during the time of World War II, Mr. Eisenhower with his entourage was driving back to the military headquarters in France to attend an emergency meeting when he suddenly caught sight of an old French couple on a dimly lit path.
It was snowing heavily and the air was chilly, yet the elderly couple was sitting by the roadside, shivering in the cold.
Mr. Eisenhower quickly asked to stop the car and ordered his French interpreter to speak to the couple. However, another officer, also sitting in the car, cautioned: “General, we must hurry to be on time for the meeting. Let’s leave this issue to the local police.”
Ascertaining the officer was just using punctuality as an excuse to make him turn a blind eye to the couple, Mr. Eisenhower said, “If we leave the matter to the local police, the old couple could freeze to death before they arrive.”
Through conversation, Mr. Eisenhower learned the couple was embarking on a trip to visit their son in Paris, but their car had broken down halfway through the journey. Stranded by the roadside in freezing conditions, they were waiting desperately for someone to help them.
Without hesitation, Mr. Eisenhower invited the couple into his car. He had decided to lend a helping hand because that was the humane thing to do. Despite his superior rank, he went out of his way to treat them with kindness and respect.
Mr. Eisenhower graciously offered to escort the couple to their son’s house in Paris, even if that meant changing his own route and turning up late for the meeting at the headquarters.
And luckily, he changed his route.
Unbeknownst to Mr. Eisenhower, the Nazis had intelligence of the exact route he would be traveling to the headquarters that day. Resolved to get rid of the supreme commander of the Allied forces, the Nazis had assigned snipers at certain intersections to wait for their chance to assassinate him.
However, the impromptu detour foiled the Nazis’ plan. With their failure to assassinate Mr. Eisenhower, Hitler was angered and chided his intelligence agents for the blunder.
Little did Hitler know it was Mr. Eisenhower’s kind heart that helped him avoid a likely tragic assassination.
Thanks to his kindness, not only did Mr. Eisenhower rescue the elderly couple, he also saved his own life.
Historians have contended that if the assassination were a success, Mr. Eisenhower would not have led the Allied Forces to victory in World War II, and today’s situation may be completely different.
This beautiful story is a clear manifestation of the Chinese saying, “Blessing comes from one’s virtue, damnation rises from one’s evil.”
According to traditional Chinese culture, the more good deeds we do for other people, the more blessings will be bestowed upon us. In other words, what goes around comes around.
Hence, by helping others, you are helping yourself too. A simple act of kindness will not only make a big difference in someone’s life; it will also change our destiny for the better.