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What Goes Around Comes Around and 2 stories to lift your spirits

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2021 - 12:00am

It’s April 10, 2021, another feel-good Saturday, time for more stories that warm the heart and lift the spirits.

1. What Goes Around Comes Around (contributed by Edu Jarque)

In 1892 at Stanford University, an 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. He and a friend decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education.

They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2,000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck and the boys began to work to make the concert a success.

The big day arrived. But unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total collection was only $1,600. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1,600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honor the cheque at the soonest possible.

“No,” said Paderewski. “This is not acceptable.” He tore up the cheque, returned the $1,600 and told the two boys: “Here’s the $1,600. 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 thanked him profusely.

It was a small act of kindness. But it clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being.

Why should he help two people he did not even know? We all come across situations like these in our lives.

And most of us only think “If I help them, what would happen to me?”

The truly great people think, “If I don’t help them, what will happen to them?” They don’t do it expecting something in return. They do it because they feel it’s the right thing to do.

Paderewski later 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 more than 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.

He heard 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. I was one of them.”

The world is a wonderful place. What goes around comes around.

***

2. How a Corvette Helped Feed Many People (contributed by Narciso Chan)

A man named Tom Nicholson posted on his Facebook account the sports car that he had just bought and how a man approached and told him that the money used to buy this car could’ve fed thousands of less fortunate people.

His response to this man made him famous on the Internet. Here it is:

A guy looked at my Corvette the other day and said,

“I wonder how many people could have been fed for the money that sports car cost?”

I replied I’m not sure. But I thought that it fed a lot of families in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who built it, it fed the people who made the tires, it fed the people who made the components that went into it, it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires, it fed people in at Caterpillar who made the trucks that haul the copper ore. It fed the trucking people who hauled it from the plant to the dealer and fed the people working at the dealership and their families.

BUT...I have to admit, I guess I really don’t know how many people it fed.

That is the difference between capitalism and the welfare mentality.

When you buy something, you put money in people’s pockets and give them dignity for their skills.

When you give someone something for nothing, you rob them of their dignity and self-worth.

Capitalism is freely giving your money in exchange for something of value.

Socialism is having the government take your money against your will and give it to someone else for doing nothing.

***

3. H O P E (contributed by Robin Tong)

When the storm passes

and the roads are tamed,

and we are the survivors

of a collective shipwreck.

With a weeping heart

and a blessed destiny

we will feel happy

just for being alive.

And we will hug

the first stranger

and praise the luck

of not having lost a friend.

And then we’ll remember

everything we lost

And all at once we will learn

all we had not learned before

We will no longer be envious

because we have all suffered

We will no longer be lazy

And will be more compassionate

What belongs to all will be worth more

than that never achieved

We will be more generous

and much more committed

We will understand how fragile

it means to be alive.

We will sweat empathy

for who is and who has left.

We will miss the old man

asking for a dollar in the market

we didn’t know his name

although he was next to us

And perhaps the poor old man

was your God in disguise.

You never asked for his name

because you were in a hurry.

And everything will be a miracle

And everything will be legacy.

And life will be respected,

the life we have won.

When the storm passes

I ask God, full of sadness

to return us to be better

as he had dreamed we would be.

(Note from Robin Tong: This is the English translation of Alexis Valdés’ poem Esperanza written in Spanish in March 2020 about the humanitarian crisis brought “by the Coronavirus and the ‘hope’ of how we will feel when the ‘Storm Passes’ [‘Cuando pase la tormenta’ — Esperanza].” Alexis Valdés is a Cuban composer, singer, musician and poet in Miami.).

Rabiya ready for Miss U pageant

2020 Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo (photo) is set to leave for the US to represent the country in the 2020 Miss Universe pageant to be held second week of May in Hollywood, Florida, USA. Rabiya has undergone rigid training with the Queen-maker team Aces & Queens, including creating her own signature walk, keeping grace under pressure, developing a well-toned body and answering questions.

It’s Rabiya’s first trip to the US. As usual, beauty enthusiasts are keeping their collective fingers crossed...Will Rabiya bring home the country’s fifth Miss U crown (last won in 2018 by Catriona Gray, after Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973 and Pia Wurtzbach in 2015)?

(For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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