A Simple Choice - Stories of Inspiration, Compassion and Respect

These lessons were passed on to me by a friend, and I was asked to pass them on to my friends. Instead of just hitting the ‘forward’ button, I decided to post them on HubPages for everyone to read. I hope you find them as interesting, poignant, and important as I did.

Whether these are simply folk tales or inspirational stories, I am not certain, but they do serve to remind us how fleeting, fragile and interdependent our lives are. We can spend our time here immersed in our own lives and troubles, or we can step outside our own existence and extend help, comfort, or compassion to others in need of assistance.

It is a simple choice really, and one that is easily and often overlooked. "I'll do it tomorrow - I don't have the time," or other similar excuses masquerading as plausible reasons often keep us from participating - salving our conscious and lulling us into believing there are plenty of others who will step in while we continue on with our important tasks.

It only takes a moment of our time and something as simple as a smile or a pleasant "Isn't it a lovely day," to uplift another person's spirit.

Click on Images to Enlarge

Inspirational Quotes 3 from funonthenet.in
Inspirational Quotes 3 from funonthenet.in

Personal experience

I am reminded of a morning last month - I was at work, standing in the middle of a residential street, making sure the back-hoe wasn't going to run over a pedestrian. As I guided the lady through the work zone, I smiled and said good morning to her. She was carrying an umbrella (a common sight in the Lower Mainland,) and I mentioned that it was a lovely morning - at least it wasn't raining - and to have a good day.

Not two minutes later, she came back and said "You deserve a hug!" My partner was astounded, (as was I,) and tried to avoid the lady as she reached out and hugged me. The woman then told me how wonderful I was, and thanked me for making her day. She proceeded to tell me that she had been going through a very rough time and my words had inspired an 'epiphany' of sorts, and that she was grateful for being reminded of the positive things she had to be thankful for instead of dwelling on the negative.

I must say, her reaction made my day too!

Inspirational picture from tripod.com
Inspirational picture from tripod.com

Lesson #1

The cleaning lady

During my friend’s second year of college, her professor gave the class a pop quiz, something that was not out of the ordinary. Being a conscientious student, she breezed through the questions until the last one, which read; “What is the first name of the lady who cleans the school?”

This had to be a trick question. She had seen the woman on many occasions, and knew that she was in her 50’s and had dark hair, but didn’t know her name. When the time came to turn in her paper, she did, leaving the last question blank.

Just before the class ended, one of the other students asked the professor if the last question counted towards the overall mark. The professor replied, “Absolutely! In your careers you will meet many people, and all of them are significant. They deserve your care and attention, even if it is only to smile and say ‘hello’...”

She never forgot that lesson – and the lady’s name was Dorothy.

inspirational quotes1 from funonthenet.in
inspirational quotes1 from funonthenet.in

Lesson #2

Pick-up in the rain

One night, at 11:30 p.m. in a terrible rainstorm, an African American woman’s car broke down. Standing by the side of the road, in the pelting rain, she desperately needed a ride, and decided to flag down the next passing motorist to see if they could assist her.

A young white man stopped to help, something that was unheard of in the 1960’s. The man drove her to safety, helped her get assistance for her car and put her in a taxi. She seemed to be in a hurry, but she wrote the man’s address down and thanked him.

A week later, the man answered a knock at his door and was surprised to discover a deliveryman with a giant console TV, with a special note attached. It read, “Thank you for assisting me the other night when I was stranded on the highway. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside before he passed away. God Bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.” It was signed, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

inpirational-thesecrets picture from myspacecutecomments.com
inpirational-thesecrets picture from myspacecutecomments.com

Lesson #3

Always remember those who serve

Back in the days when ice cream cost a few cents, a 10 year old boy walked into a hotel coffee shop and sat down. The waitress placed a glass of water in front of him and asked what he wanted.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.

“Fifty cents,” she replied.

The boy took out his coins and studied them.

“How much for a plain dish of ice cream?” he asked. By now, there were other customers waiting for tables and the waitress was getting impatient.

“Thirty five cents,” she answered abruptly.

The boy counted out his coins again, and said, “I’ll have the plain ice cream please.”

The waitress brought the ice cream, left the bill on the table, and went to serve the other customers. The boy ate his ice cream, paid the cashier, and left. When the waitress came back to clear the table, tears welled up in her eyes. There, neatly placed beside the empty dish were two nickels and five pennies. The boy couldn’t have the ice cream sundae because he had to have enough to leave her a tip.

famous quotes5 from inspirationalfood.com
famous quotes5 from inspirationalfood.com

Lesson #4

The obstacle in our path

In ancient times, long ago and far away, a King decided to have a large boulder placed on a roadway. Then he would hide and watch to see if anyone moved it off the road. Some of the King’s wealthiest merchants and court members simply walked around it, complaining loudly that the King should have someone remove it as it was blocking the road. Many people walked past, blaming the King for not keeping the roads clear, but did nothing about removing the stone.

One day, a peasant came by with a load of vegetables, on his way to the market. When he got to the boulder, he put his sack down, and proceeded to move the boulder out of the way. It took him quite a while, as the stone was very heavy but after much pushing, he finally succeeded.

As he picked up his sack, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. Inside were many gold coins and a note from the King saying that the person who moved the boulder from the road could keep the gold.

The peasant learned the lesson that few of us ever understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our conditions.

inspirational picture from musicxray.com
inspirational picture from musicxray.com

Lesson #5

Giving when it counts

A good friend of mine worked as a volunteer in a hospital, (this was many years ago now,) and got to know a young girl, by the name of Lucy, who was a patient there. She was suffering from a rare, life threatening disease, and her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother who had miraculously survived and recovered from the same illness. The doctors were hoping that the antibodies that developed in the brother’s blood would be enough to cure Lucy.

The doctors explained the situation to the little boy, and asked if he would be willing to give his blood help his sister. He only hesitated a moment, then he took a big breath and said if it would save his sister, he would do it.

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in the bed next to his sister’s and smiled as he saw the colour coming back into her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and said in a shaky voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being so young, the boy had misunderstood what the doctor had meant, thinking he would have to give all his blood to save his sister.

Many of you have probably read a similar accounting of these 5 simple points, but I didn't think it was repetitious or out of place to be reminded just how important we are to others, even complete strangers. These are definitely excellent guidelines to learn and live by. If more of us followed them, the world could be a nicer, more compassionate place.

It doesn't take much - you can always start with a smile, and go from there...

More by this Author

Comments 74 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

The stories might not be literally true, but they are certainly true! Thanks so much for not hitting the forward button and for taking the time to post them here. I loved them!

Love and peace


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you Tony, I'm happy to pass them on to my friends here - thank you for being the first to comment, it's always good to see you :D

hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Wonderful. I had goose-flesh while reading it. Rated, bookmarked, stumbled and shared with followers. Wonderful hub Enelle.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Every one of these little stories is a gem.

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Wow, I'm not sure which one touch me the most, they are all so very beautiful. Thanks so much for taking the time to share these stories. They will stay with me forever and serve as gentle reminders. Rated, up and bookmarked.


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Thank you for adding all these important lessons.

Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 6 years ago from Florida

Excellent - I will bookmark this and come back and read it again. Thanks! Rated this up!!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

The joy of giving of yourself and taking the time to perform acts of kindness to our fellow man is just an overall great feeling. I go out of my way to assist someone where and when I can, and I also get a so good feeling afterwords, it follows me throughout my day. Great post and a wonderful reminder to us all to give of ourselves, life is fleeting and good deeds so important.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Hypnodude, I got a little misty when I read them too. I appreciate the bookmark :D and thank you for stumbling and sharing LOL...that's just so awesome!

Hi sheila b., I agree, I had to pass them on.

Thanks Sage, I'm so glad you enjoyed them, and got the message - I guess they worked :D (worked for me anyway!)

Hi Sandyspider, you are most welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed the read. Thanks for commenting :D

I guess I hit a good one this time Patti Ann, I have never seen so many bookmarks on one of my hubs! I'm happy you enjoyed this posting enough to come back and read it again! Thanks so much.

Ah saddlerider, you have the right of it there! It always makes me feel good when I help others...even if all I do is help someone carry their groceries to the car. Thanks for the read :D, glad you enjoyed the hub!

daisyjae profile image

daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

I enjoyed this one, very touching stories.

EllenGraeger profile image

EllenGraeger 6 years ago from Madrid

A very touching hub, Enelle, thank you. I think it is true that we usually care very little about our fellow human beings. We can learn and re-direct our customs by reading your hub. Thank you again.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Glad you liked it daisyjae! I enjoyed writing it :)

I sure hope so Ellen, it really doesn't take much time or effort to put a smile on someone's face. So glad you enjoyed the hub - is always good to see you :D

RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

Great hub, Enelle - ("facebooked" - or whatever the verb is for that site). I read the Mr.s Cole story some years ago - I think in Readers' Digest - so it is probably the real thing. Don't know, don't care. They are all great examples of how to do exactly what you did in your pre-amble - get out of your own problems and help someone else out.

Thanks for the always timely reminder.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I'm sure "facebooked" and "tweeted" will end up in the dictionary sooner or later! So glad you liked the hub. Being one of those "Pollyanna type personalities" who cause most normal folk to gag, I couldn't resist passing these on :D

theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

These are beautiful! I especially love lesson three. So sweet!! Thanks for such a wonderful hub!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are most welcome thh, I must admit that one made me a tad misty eyed too...

cbcbrown profile image

cbcbrown 6 years ago

Great stories and excellent reminders of how we should treat each other. Thanks for sharing!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Welcome cbcbrown and thank you for your kind words :)

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Enelle, thank you for this reminder that we all can make someone else's day...it doesn't take much, but it's so satisfying! :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I agree FP, sometimes it's the little things that count :)

CYBERSUPE profile image


An absolute awesome Hub. A great reminder that we need to respect each other, especially the very poor, who often times is looked down upon. In this day and age with the financial crises as it is, more and more people are on the streets looking for a handout. I live in a big city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA and I see this kind a thing alot. If I can add just a little something to your beautiful Hub and that is a reminder that Jesus gave dignity to the poor, and dwells among them. Who knows if someday one of us will drop a coin in his cup.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Then we will be truly blessed CYBERSUPE for putting another's needs above our own. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, and thank you for your addition and for taking the time to stop by and comment!

raisingme profile image

raisingme 6 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

Beautiful and what a great idea to turn the stories into a Hubpage. I can read it on a 'bad' day and pass the page on to friends. Thank you, from the heart of the Fraser Valley!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Oh my goodness, a neighbour! You are most welcome raisingme, I am happy to pass it along to my friends :D A big "You're Welcome" from the heart of the Fraser Valley! LOL drop me a line some time ;)

Wrath Warbone profile image

Wrath Warbone 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

Beautiful. I am going to email it to my friends.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Glad you liked it Wrath Warbone :) thanks for stopping by!

CMHypno 6 years ago

Great Hub Enelle. Sometimes I think that we all need a reminder to be kinder to the other people in our world

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

It doesn't hurt to remind ourselves to be kinder to our fellow man - you don't want to get on the bad side of Karma ;)

90% off on all Premium Magazines 6 years ago

I must say, her reaction made my day too!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I'm happy to pass on the good feelings 90%, thanks for the comment!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

1. never talk down to anyone

2. love yourself first then you will love others

3. don't be afraid to compliment anyone for no (particular) reason

4. be polite, open-minded and always say THANK YOU

5. ALWAYS READ THESE HUBS (if you know what's good for you)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

LOL love number 5, and I agree with 1 through 4 as well! Thanks so much for your contribution and your comments :D

parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz

The last one brought tears to the eyes of both my wife and I. beautiful & inspiring.

 6 years ago

This is an excellent hub and wonderfully told.

I especially liked the story # 4, which helped me figure out a few things -

In today's world, most are willing and eager to remove the boulder from the road, but the boulder itself has nowhere to go ,one can only remove it from one's own path to another's.

The boulder remains, either in the path of vegetable seller A in path A

or vegetable Seller B in Path B as the vegetable seller can only remove it from his path and place it in the path of another.

There might be 2 or more kings 2 or more kingdoms and each would offer the same prize to anyone who removes the boulder from their path ( on to the path of another).

And notwithstanding if there is a king or not who has a reward of gold coins on offer, to any enterprising individual who removes the boulder, in today's world, the boulder always remain in someone or the other's path.

So even if there is a prize of gold coins to be recovered,or not, one does not feel happy about the fact that the boulder has more impact than the king, the prize of gold coins, the vegetable seller's effort to remove the boulder.

No matter how many prizes are announced and received and ho many vegetable sellers remove the boulder, the boulder remains.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you so much for your comment parrster, I particularly enjoyed #5 as well.

To the unverified commenter, I don't think many people have thought past the moving of the obstacle to the conclusion you have pointed out - including me! Great observation! Thanks for stopping by :)

marcofratelli profile image

marcofratelli 6 years ago from Australia

Hi Enelle,

That's the most beautiful hub I've read in a while. Bless you for sharing it.


murns 6 years ago

#4 BEAUTIFUL!!! Still wiping tears off my cheek. In life there are supposed to be obstacles. They teach you how to learn from a situation. Even if there is no "bag of gold" to be obtained. Please continue to do more hubs like this. What the world needs now is love, sweet love.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I'm so pleased you enjoyed it marcofratellie, thank you for your kind words :)

Thank you so much murns for the wonderful comment. I will do my best :)

pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

...this can melt anyone's heart...soul-catching stories loaded with great lessons in life, these stories remind me to be a good person all the time!!! ^.^ vote this up.. awesome!

Moneylady profile image

Moneylady 6 years ago from Texas

Excellent words to live by! Very well done.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks pinkhawk, I do my best to be a good person, but these stories are a great reminder to try harder! Thanks for the great comment!

Thank you very much Moneylady :D

Lovely 6 years ago

Can't help the tears falling from my eyes.. These are wonderful stories.. Thank you so much for sharing them.. I can't wait to send this to my friends and family as well.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you so much for your kind words, I'm very glad you enjoyed reading it :)

Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 6 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

This hub was such a great reminder - to stop and smell the roses and not take life for granted or those around us. Thank you for sharing.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are most welcome Whidbeywriter, I'm glad you enjoyed reading! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :D

Resolver2009 profile image

Resolver2009 6 years ago from Bournemouth, UK / Oslo, Norway

Fantastic hub Enelle, with a really strong message.. truly inspiring. Thank you.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Aw thanks Resolver, so glad you liked it :D

wearing well profile image

wearing well 6 years ago from Lancashire U.K.

Loved them all,especially lesson 3&5.Just wiping away my tears!Wouldn't it be great if everyone could try and show compassion because then are world would make for a better place.Thank you for sharing;great hub :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I completely agree! I love what the stories have to tell us, and I just had to share it. I admit, there might be some controversy as to whether some of them are real, but to be honest, it really doesn't matter - they get the message across! :D

Thank you for your kind words, and for coming by to read!

jayb23 profile image

jayb23 6 years ago from India

Enelle, what an amazing hub. I simply loved it. Being away from HP has made me miss so many amazing hubs. Bookmarked it and btw loved the 1st and da 5th story. Have to catch up with your other hubs.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi jayb - good to see you back again! Thanks for the bookmark :D so glad you liked it!

Asil 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing the stories.

i personally feel so good after helping people with out expecting anything from them.. it just makes me happy :)

abiya  6 years ago

this is the best article........its so heart touching............and so nice.....thank you

Nitin 6 years ago

if all the above comments indicate that people got overwhelmed by reading them, they could do one more justice to humanity by stopping to hate other ethnic people. Like Americans Australians etc do by hating Indians and Black people.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Asil, I know what you mean - it just feels good!

You are most welcome abiya, thank you for stopping by!

Personally, I think the world would be a much better place Nitin. Thank you for your comments :)

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

these stories touch the heart. The sentiments are so true. rated up, awesome and bookmarked. I want to read the stories to my class and discuss them for one of their social-emotional classes. Thanks so much for sharing.

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

Enelle: I loved this article so much. Great lessons we can all benefit from! Made my day!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Gals, thank you so much for the rated up etc! I think your class will enjoy the stories, I know I did :)

Hi Christoph, I`m so pleased you liked the article :D It`s always so nice to see you! Thanks for stopping by!

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

I loved this hub it was so touching and uplifting and I don't think it matters a bit whether they are about real happenings or not as the stories contain a truth that is bigger than the stories themselves.

This hub is just what we need to start any day off in the right frame of mind. I am voting it up.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks so much maggs! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it :D

marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 6 years ago from USA

I try to live by the attitude if "if I'm in the ditch, and making my way out, why not pull someone else along with me?"

and if things are going well "Share the joy and lift someone else up too, for life has taught me, I'll be there again myself..."

great reminders, thank you!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Always good to share the wealth ;) Thanks marisuewrites!

nms profile image

nms 6 years ago from Cochin

super! One of the best hub

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks nms it's one of my favorites :)

Sharon King profile image

Sharon King 6 years ago

I love this hub so much truth in it.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks so much Sharon!

speedbird profile image

speedbird 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

I love the quote in the picture ' the first step to get somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are'. Very nice hub, Voted UP and rated USEFUL.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks speedbird - glad you enjoyed it :D nice to meet you :)

warm_whispers profile image

warm_whispers 5 years ago

THANK YOU.one of the best hubs i ever read

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

What a lovely comment warm_whispers! Thanks so much for stopping by :D

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Thank you for these excellent examples of love and kindness.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

My pleasure Ivorwen, I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the hub!

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Enelle, what beautiful stories. As I read each on I though "This is my favorite." I guess each one ended up being my favorite. I am bookmarking so I can share them with my class. Up, beautiful and awesome.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Aw thanks Gals :D I'm really glad you enjoyed the stories - they do leave their mark don't they?

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    Enelle Lamb936 Followers
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    Enelle Lamb is a Community Support Social Service Worker, published author, jewelry designer and single mother extraordinaire.

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