The Power of Kindness


Today I visited the beautifully preserved hamlet/village of Downham, Lancashire, whereupon I spied an old advert for the Benevolent society. The picture depicts the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan with the exhortation above calling us to ‘go and do likewise.’

According to Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, a Greek Cypriot theologian, two boys were working their way through Leland Stanford University when they found themselves almost without funds. One of them conceived the idea of engaging the great Polish pianist, Paderewski, for a piano recital, and devoting the profits to their board and tuition. The pianist’s manager asked for a guarantee of $2,000. The boys proceeded to stage the concert, but the proceeds only totalled $1,600. The boys sought the great artist and told him of their efforts. They gave him the entire $1,600 and an IOU note for the $400, explaining that they would earn the balance and pay it off at the earliest possible moment

“No, boys that won’t do,” said Paderewski. Then tearing up the note, he returned the money to them saying, “Now take out of the $1,600 all of your expenses and keep 10% of the balance for each of you for your work and let me have the rest.”The years rolled by.

The war came, and Paderewski was striving with might and main to feed the starving thousands in his beloved Poland. There was only one man in the world who could help Paderewski. Thousands of tons of food began to come into Poland for distribution. After the starving people were fed, Paderewski journeyed to Paris to thank Herbert Hoover for the relief sent to them.

“That’s quite alright, Mr Paderewski,” was Mr Hoover’s reply. “Besides, you don’t remember how you helped me once when I was a student working my way through Leland Stanford, and I was in a hole.”

A president of the United States of America, a famous musician, and the members of a village benevolent society have demonstrated the power of kindness; thus leaving good examples for us to follow. 

But primarily it is our Lord Jesus Christ to whom we look, for He tells us to ‘let your light so shine before men…’ not, of course, that we might boast, but ‘that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.’  - Matthew5:16 

‘Go and do likewise.’ - Luke10:37b