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by Harry
Rated: ASR · Poetry · Inspirational · #690222
A storoem of the motivation behind one man's becoming a humanitarian.
The man is receiving another award as
"Humanitarian of the Year". It's his third,
none other possessing the compassion he has.
A reporter inquires, "Might we have a word?

"What motivates your generosity? You haven't great wealth;
yet you give to many charities, support every cause.
Were your parents as kind as you?" "They had bad health,
left me an orphan early in life." Then comes a long pause.

The man continues, "You wouldn't believe the story I could tell."
With that, he turns to walk away. The reporter begs for more.
"You'll die a rich man...lonely, alone. You'll spend eternity in Hell.
Those very words made me open my eyes, my heart forevermore."

"Who spoke those words to you?" the reporter asks. "No one human,"
comes the reply. The solemnness of his tone, the look in his eye,
attest to the truth of the words he speaks. The reporter's acumen
tells him this is a story he must hear. "I'll believe you. Give me a try!"

The man begins to softly speak, "For the first forty years
of my life, I was totally selfish, motivated by greed,
lusting after success and riches. Driven by my fears
of failure and poverty, I did anything in order to succeed.

"I was an angry man, living in a mean and ruthless fashion,
who betrayed friends and foes alike in business. I cared not
for the plight of others. Every cent earned, I hoarded with passion.
Seeing the homeless, the sick -- I turned away, quickly forgot.

"Then I began to encounter an old woman, raggedy, dirty,
begging for a handout each time I exited the building housing
my business. She'd stare up at me with sorrowful eyes. Barely
able to speak, she'd implore, 'Please feed me. I am starving.'

"Growing tired of her entreaties for my money, I called
the police on her, even pressed charges against her for vagrancy.
I was awakened that same night by a sight that both enthralled
and terrified me. The old woman was there, standing beside me!

"Bathed in a brilliant white light, she chastised me thusly:
'I was homeless...yet you offered me no shelter.
I was hungry... yet you gave me no sustenance.
I was sick...yet you turned away in apathy.
Your heart is hard as stone. You view the world blindly.'

"Then she transformed into a beautiful young woman,
glowing with an aura of purity and love for all mankind.
She pointed her finger at me; shivers cascaded down my spine.
'Because of you, a homeless family will sleep in the cold tomorrow.
Because of you, a small child will go to bed hungry tomorrow.
Because of you, a sick baby will die without a chance at life tomorrow.
You could make every day matter! Change your path while you still can ...

Or, you'll die a rich man ... lonely, alone. You shall spend eternity in Hell.'
I started helping others out of fear, but inside I came alive that day.
Now, some of the poverty and ignorance in this world I try to dispel."
"Was she real, or simply your guilty conscience?" "Who can say?"

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