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The Power of Kindness

WEEK 1 – JUNE 2010

Hi Ann,

Kindness, as Mother Teresa so beautifully said, is the only language that we all understand. We have all heard the saying “What goes around comes around.” Today’s motivational note and true story is a wonderful reminder of how simple acts of kindness can come back to us when we least expect it.

Fleming was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog and found a terrified boy screaming and struggling and up to his waist in black muck. Farmer Fleming saved the boy from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, an elegantly dressed nobleman arrived at the Scotsman’s home and introduced himself as the father of the boy he had saved. “I want to repay you” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” “No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family home.

“Is that your son?” the nobleman asked.
“Yes,” the farmer replied proudly.

“I’ll make you a deal. Let me give him the same education my own son will enjoy.” And that he did. Father Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and, in time, graduated from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.
What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Acts of Kindness
are simply the result of living by the golden rule….
Which should be Rule 1 on every Leader’s List.


Ann Quinn, Ph.D

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