Words of Wisdom aims to highlight important morals, which we feel our readers will benefit from reading. We hope you enjoy this fable.
In this touching tale featuring a lady and a beggarman, we are reminded of Aesop’s truism that “no act of kindness, no matter how small, goes unrewarded.”
A well-to-do lady was walking down a busy street one day when she saw an elderly beggarman sitting in the gutter. He looked weary and discouraged. Despite the fact that he was unkempt and his clothes were in tatters, she still took pity on him.
The pedestrians on the street glanced at him with contempt. They looked the other way when he asked them for loose change.
The lady, however, was genuinely concerned for him. She approached him kindly and asked, “Sir? are you all right?”
The beggar looked at the lady, thinking in his mind, “She is a rich woman, why would she even care?”
“Leave me alone,” he muttered under his breath.
The lady took no notice and gently asked him if he would like to grab a bite to eat from the cafeteria.
The old beggar thought she was trying to make a fool out of him and said, “No, I am not hungry.”
“Now go away!” he snapped.
The lady bent down and grabbed his hand. She wanted to help him onto his feet. “Let’s go and get you some food,” she said.
The crusty old beggar felt irritated and said in a discourteous tone, “What do you think you’re doing, woman?”
Just then, a policeman came onto the scene. “Is there a problem?” he asked, walking towards them.
“Not at all, officer,” said the lady. “Would you be so kind as to help me get this man on his feet?”
The policeman was flabbergasted as to why anyone in the world would take notice of the old beggar and said to her, “That’s old Jack; he has been here for years.”
“I am taking him to the cafeteria for a bite to eat and to get him out of the cold for a while,” she told the policeman.
But no matter how much Jack protested against going to the cafeteria and how much he complained, the lady was adamant.
They dragged Jack to the cafeteria. The manager approached them immediately and inquired, “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “Is this man making trouble?”
“She brought old Jack in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.
The manager was not happy. “Not in my cafeteria!” he barked. “People like him are bad for business.”
Jack, feeling extremely uncomfortable, just wanted to get out of the cafeteria.
“Yeah, that’s exactly why I didn’t want to come in here,” he told the woman.
The woman kept a cool head and said to the manager, “Sir, I reckon you know Eddy and Associates, the law firm down the street?”
“Yes,” the manager said, rather impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”
“Then I guess you make good money through those meetings,” the woman responded.
The manager had no choice but to agree with her.
She looked him in the eye and added softly, “Because I am the CEO of the company.”
“Oh,” he said, a little surprised at this revelation. He did not quite know what to say.
She turned to the policeman and asked, “Would you care for a cup of coffee?”
The policeman thanked her and told her that although he was on duty, he could do with a takeaway.
Rather sheepishly, the cafeteria manager said he would have their order “seen to right away.”
“That served him right,” the policeman said to the lady with a smile.
Then she told the cop about why she brought Jack to the cafeteria.
By this stage, Jack saw that this lady genuinely cared for him. She stuck up for him even when the cafeteria manager tried to refuse him service. He was greatly touched.
She asked Jack if he recognized her. He looked at her and paused: “I dunno … maybe a little.”
She continued to tell him that as a young woman, she’d fallen on hard times. She told him of the cold evening when she stumbled upon the very same cafeteria in the hopes of finding a cheap meal. Young Jack was working as a cashier at that time before he lost his job.
The policeman remarked that he could not imagine such a fine-looking woman as a poor hungry girl.
She had inquired about a job, but he could not help her. He did, however, order her a warm meal and paid for it out of his own pocket.
Shortly thereafter, she found a good job and worked herself up to a high position.
She said to Jack: “Here is my business card. Come in for an interview and I am sure we can find something for you to do. My company will also help you with an advance on your salary.”
Jack was in tears. He said, “I am in your debt. How can I thank you?”
She said, “Don’t thank me, thank the good Lord, who led me to you so that I could repay you for the kindness you showed me all those years ago.”
Hearing all this, the policeman was once again flabbergasted. “I saw a miracle today,” he said. Before he left, he thanked the woman for the coffee.
“It was my pleasure,” responded the woman. “I am sorry I did not ask you if you took milk or sugar in your coffee, I just ordered it black.”
The policeman replied that he normally takes milk and sugar, more than what is good for his health.
“Please forgive me,” she said.
The policeman smiled and said, “No worries ma’am sugar or no sugar it’s going to be the sweetest tasting coffee I have had in a long time.”
The lady led Jack to a table by the window and ordered a hearty meal for two.
Feeling a little guilty for his previous outburst, the cafe manager sincerely apologized and told them that their meals were on him. “…And, Jack, please do come back to dine here anytime,” he said.
Perhaps he did a little self examining…
“Thank you, sir,” said Jack. “Today is a real turning point in my life, as I’m sure it is in yours. God bless this lady for her kind heart, she’s taught us all a good lesson in treating our fellow human beings with kindness and respect.”