Earlier today we received an email from Melbourne-based B1G1 Business Member Ron Prasad.
Ron, born in Fiji, is an influential and highly successful business coach [www.impetussuccess.com.au]. And he’s passionate about animals too. He brought on board a new cause to B1G1 too — Edgars Mission which looks after stray animals.
But significantly today, Ron brought us face-to-face with one of those interesting historical sequences that make you go “WOW, how about that”. [And Ron humbly asked us to take note of the fact that he heard the story from his friend Akash Bhandari.]
So here’s the story; Ron headlined it: LET THE MAGIC BEGIN
It’s a true story that had happened in 1892 at Stanford University, but the moral is still relevant today. A young, 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea. A friend and he decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education. They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski – who was quite a superstar those days. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck. And the boys began to work to make the concert a success.
The big day arrived. Paderewski performed at Stanford. But unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total collection was only $1600. Disappointed, they went up to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honour the cheque as soon as possible.
“No way!” said Paderewski. “This is just not acceptable!” He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys “Here’s the $1600. Please deduct whatever expenses you have incurred. Keep the money you need for your fees. And just give me whatever is left!” The boys were surprised, and quite overjoyed. They thanked him profusely.
It was a small act of kindness. But it clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being. Someone special.
It may not surprise you to know that Paderewski went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland. He was a great leader, but unfortunately when the World War began, Poland was ravaged. There were over 1.5 million people starving in his country, and no money to feed them. Paderewski did not know where to turn for help. He reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help. The head there was a man called Herbert Hoover – who later went on to become the US President. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of food grains to feed the starving Polish people. A calamity was averted. Paderewski was relieved! He decided to go across to meet Hoover and personally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, “You shouldn’t be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago, you helped two young students go through college in the US. I was one of them.”
Make it a habit to help others. It is rightly said that you can achieve everything you want in life if only you help other people achieve what they want in their lives.
Do something selfless today. Help some one! Just do it. And don’t expect anything in return.
The world is a wonderful place. What goes around usually comes around.
Let the magic begin!