The Compounding Power of Compassion

By Cynthia Alwizer

A poor boy was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school. One day he found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank it so slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied.

“Then I thank you from my heart,” he said. As he left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but in his faith in God and man. He had been ready to give up and quit.


Many year’s later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. He recognized her at once. He gave special attention to her case and was determined to do his best to save her life. After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words …

“Paid in full with one glass of milk” (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as she said, “Thank you.”

This story illustrates the compounding power of compassion. The good deed you do today may benefit you, or someone you love at the least expected time. More importantly, you may never see the return but when you share a good deed your love spreads broad through human hearts and hands. If a child you sponsor becomes a doctor, a teacher, a leader, a powerful and productive member of society, you will have made the world a better place – After all, isn’t that what life is all about?

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