In the days of yesteryear a Chinese rice farmer was working at
his hilltop farm. He saw the ocean swiftly withdraw from
the shore, much like a huge animal crouching just before it
pounces on its prey. He instinctively knew that a huge
tidal wave would quickly follow. Seeing his neighbors
working in their fields by the seashore and knowing their only
means of escape was to run to the hills, he set fire to his rice
field and then furiously rang the temple bell as a warning to
From the seashore his neighbors saw the fire and rushed to help
him. From the safety of his hilltop, they watched the
water as it swirled over the fields they had just left.
They knew their safety had been bought at a price.
Do we ever reflect on what has been bought for us at a
price? Our freedom was bought at a price. Lincoln
paid for the freeing of slaves with his life. Many of us
enjoy things today that were bought at a price.
Some of the best-educated people in America today got that way
because from the time they were born, their parents set aside
money on a regular basis to pay for their education. Many
of us enjoy good health because scientists have spent time in
laboratories researching and finding drugs and medicines that
improve our health.
The list is endless. But do we ever take time to write a
note, make a phone call, or otherwise express appreciation to
those who bought our pleasures and luxuries with their own
sacrifice? You would be amazed at the response you will
get if you do. The recipient of your compliment will be
delighted, and you will feel even better than the recipient
Something as simple as a smile can bring amazing results.
When you smile at someone, he or she spontaneously smiles
back. Even people who might have frowns on their faces,
who are desperately in need of a smile, will usually return
yours. They'll feel better because of their own smile,
which came as a result of your smiling at them. You'll
feel better in the process. As the old saying goes,
"A smile is a little curve that sets a lot of things
straight." Give it a try, and you'll be glad you did.