Lessons from Life: Where There Is a Loss, There Must Also Be Gain
[PureInsight.org] Doing good deeds while seeking nothing in return is a manifestation of morality and virtue. A benevolent person often treats both hardships and happiness that he experiences in the course of his life with a calm heart. People who have noble characters and command respect from others often do a lot of things to help other people while expecting nothing in return. Those who benefit from their generosity tend to start doing the same things themselves. Because of this, benevolent people sometimes received unexpected benefits in return for their good deeds. It is a natural rule that revolves around the cycle of cause and effect.
At the end of the nineteenth century in America, two children from poor families were admitted to the university. In order to earn some money to pay for their school fees and living expenses, they thought of a plan to make money. They decided to organize a concert for a famous pianist and hoped to earn some money from the commission. They found a famous pianist of that era, Mr. Ignace Paderewski. The manager of Mr. Paderewski and the two young men discussed the terms and agreed that the maestro would receive US$2000 for the concert performance. The maestro was agreeable to the proposal and thought the payment was sufficiently attractive. But to the two young men, US$2000 was a huge sum. If the income for the performance did not reach two thousand dollars, they would lose money.
The two young men signed the contract and commenced to work their hearts out in order to put on a successful concert. At the end of the concert, after totaling the money they had collected from the concert, they found out that they only had made $1600. They gave all the one thousand six hundred dollars to Mr. Paderewski and also gave him a check for four hundred dollars, promising to honor the check as quickly as they could. Mr. Paderewski was touched by the two poor youngsters and tore the four hundred dollar check to pieces. He then handed over the one thousand six hundred dollars to the two young men and said, "Please deduct your school fees and living expenses from this money. Then from whatever is left of it, take ten percent of it as the commission for your effort. I will take what is left." The two young men were moved to tears.
Many years later, at the end of World War I, Paderewski returned to his native Poland and became the Prime Minister of Poland. As a result of the devastation from the war, the country was experiencing financial difficulty and people were starving. Tens of thousands of hungry citizens were appealing to him for help. He rushed everywhere but was unable to solve the great crisis. Having no other alternative, he approached the head of the US Food and Relief Administration, Mr. Herbert Hoover, for assistance. When Mr. Herbert Hoover received the request, he immediately replied that he would send a large quantity of provisions to Poland.
Not long after that, more than ten thousand tons of provisions arrived in Poland. The tragedy in Poland was averted. Prime Minister Paderewski wanted to thank Mr. Herbert Hoover in person and made an appointment to meet with him in Paris.
When the two men met, Mr. Herbert Hoover said: "You need not thank me. It is I who must thank you. Prime Minister Paderewski, perhaps there is something that you may have long forgotten, but I will remember it forever! When you were in America, you helped two poor university students. I was one of them!"
To do good deeds without expecting any reward is undoubtedly the charitable action of a man with high morality and virtue. But where there is loss, there must also be gain. It is a universal truth. Genuine kindness and compassion will shine through the ages and won't fade with the passage of time.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/12/7/34869.html