Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mercy's Measurement 7/05/09

One can pay beck the loan of gold, but one is forever in debt to those who are kind.

Malaysian proverb
One day I was walking down 9th Avenue in New York City when I saw a crippled man sitting on the sidewalk with his back against the wall at about 56th Street. A woman had stopped and reached into her shopping bag to offer the man a large breaded pretzel. He said "I can't chew that" and handed it back.

I stopped. I told him to take it. I said that the woman was being kind to him. That if he couldn't chew it to break it up in small pieces and hold them in his mouth until he could swallow them. But if someone was showing mercy, not to refuse it. He took the pretzel. The woman went on. I told the guy that if he had to live on the street then he had to improvise. I've been a beggar. I know what the rules are.

Friday afternoon I was doing some shopping. I went into a store I visit regularly but not often. As i was making my purchase I began to feel quite ill. I wasn't sure I could make it home. The owner and only salesperson saw the look on my face and said that I didn't look well. She asked me what the trouble was. I said I didn't know but that I had to sit down. I was feeling miserable.

She immediately set to making me comfortable, brought me a glass of water and let me use her private rest room in the back of the store. After a while I was feeling better and managed to make it home.

There is no way I can ever adequately repay her for that kindness except to pass it on. She could have easily dismissed me out the door, but instead her instinct was to help. That is the lesson of the day: to develop a habitual instinct to show kindness and mercy to a suffering creature and not turn away in fear and disgust.

Kindness breeds kindness. If I hadn't come along the woman on the sidewalk would have been deprived of the satisfaction of helping a poor cripple and he would have deprived himself of some food simply because he was feeling sorry for himself.

At first I was embarrassed to be invited to invade the store keeper's private quarters, but she was so gracious and positive about it that I was able to recover from my misery with a heart full of gratitude.

Writing checks is good if you have the money, but on-the-job, hands-on mercy is the best.

Have a day to remember.

This puzzle is in 2 parts, Part A and Part M. (What? You'll get Parts B through L at another time, Keep your shirt on.)

Part A: Below is a list of the 13 original states. They are the reason we have 13 stripes on our flag. Your mission is to tell me what is wrong with this list. (Note: "Too many." is NOT a legitimate answer.) DON'T CHEAT !

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina
West Virginia

Part M: How did they become the first 13 states?

There is 1 Winner and 4 Honorable Mentions so far.

Good luck Email Lions. Good luck Blogspot Tigers.
Answers will be posted on or about 9 p.m. Sunday


Karl said...

In a world of glib answers and catchy slogans, there is nothing that hangs out of the box as much "mercy." Difficult to broadcast, not good "You Tube" material, but when it happens to me, I know it, it drops my jaw and leaves me speechless.

Beth said...

Isn't it wonderful to encounter such a kind and gracious person? It sounds like she helped with not only your physical discomfort, but she also lightened your soul. I salute that kind woman for helping my friend. :)

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

The true meaning of "Pay It Forward"