This Article is About
self improvement
two friends
good friends
domicile
stranger
memories
relationships
memory
risk
job
Never Judge A Book By Its Cover – A Fool, You Will Be
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Never Judge A Book By Its Cover – A Fool, You Will Be

I wish to relate a story, told me many years ago.

Two friends, good friends, had travelled a distance to attend a meeting of fellowship. On their return trip, late at night, when passing through a small town, they notice a hitch hiker along the road. It is never a good idea to pick up a hiker at night, specially in our present times. Yet these two did.

On enquiry they discovered he was on his way to a town near their destination, and they continued with their conversation. The hitch hiker, not a very out spoken man, sat quietly in the back of the vehicle. The trip took an hour or so and they began to worry about the quiet passenger. Enquiries determined he was an unemployed man, down on his luck and trying to get to the next town in his search for employment. Their chatter, between themselves, was about relationships and self-improvement. The passenger never join the conversation, but sat quietly listening.

On arrival at his destination, he alighted and thanked the pair profusely, realising the risk they had taken by picking up a stranger in the middle of the night. My friends, as I would have expected, gave the man a 100 rand and told him to get a room at the local Inn and to have a meal. They continued on their way and never gave another thought of their past passenger.

Two years passed and the one friend got a knock on the door. Here stood a well dressed man, in a suit, who asked him if he remembered the night two years past. My friend's memory evaded him, and he was thinking this man was at his door to sell him something. He was about to send him on his way, when the man handed him 200 rand and reminded him of the night, in detail. My friend, astounded about how he had found him, enquired, and the man repeated his memories of what my friends had talked about that evening and how he had memorised their place of domicile.

He, invited into the house, told his life story; how he had been a senior manager in a firm and drink had lost him his job, wife and children. Their chatter in the car that night and their charity, had been a life changing experience for him, he had turned his life around, stopped drinking, won his wife and children back and again was a manager of a big company. He just wanted to share his good fortune due to meeting my friends that night, and to return the money given, with interest. He would not accept the repeated attempt to return the money, and on relating the story the following morning to us, my friend admitted he had judged the man as a “Bum”, likely to drink the donated money away in the nearest pub.

He had “judged the book by its cover” the outward appearance deceiving him into thinking this was a man of little self-esteem. How wrong could he have been. This was an educated man, who had become a drunk, and lost his way. He'd been placed beside the road to experience the idle chatter of others, to receive the inspiration to turn his life around, and once again become a man of honour.

Inspirational, I think.


Street Talk

AnnMarie  

We are all worthy of respect no matter our circumstances. I'm into random acts of kindness. I applaud your friends despite their leeriness. And I actually felt like you were sitting in front of me telling me that story, Rob. The article has a great voice!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks very much AnnMarie what a nice comment.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
AJ  

Wonderfully told story, Rob. The moral for me is you never know how an act of kindness will affect a person, so always do what you can to help others. Your friends did and made a huge impact on this man's life. God bless them!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

So true AJ, it reminds me many a time to give that coin to the poor, what ever I can afford, but just as much the greeting and chat can help their day.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

What a great reminder that what we do and say can have a such an impact on someone's life!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Good comment Sherry, I wonder how many people can be inspired by the conversation of others?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

`I agree, great story..the beauty of it, for me, is that the friends hadn't really gone out of their way..they were just being themselves..and look what was accomplished.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

So true J. I find it so inspirational.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Stacydee  

We just never know who we are going to meet or what impact we will have on them. Or the other way around for that matter. That's a great story!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Stacydee, I wish I could claim to be one of the pair that inspired a man to turn his life around. I hope that some day a story will be written about me in the same light.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Stacydee  

Maybe you already have inspired someone and you don't know about it. I would say it's pretty likely. Just believe and it will become reality.

  
  about 9 years ago

What a great article. A lot of truth to it.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Daniel don't know what remind me of this story, it happened nearly 20 years ago.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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