Note: This was originally published in Issue 294 of the Newsletter in April 2000.
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The capabilities and limitations of people vary from person to person. Each of us, though, has both, and they change throughout our lives. For example, the lady at the gas pump trying to balance on her one remaining leg* that I helped had no problem pumping her own gas before she lost her leg in an accident. Though she was limited in her ability to stand without some sort of aid, she also has capabilities that other people don't have.
When she started telling me what a nice man I was for helping her, I told her my assistance wasn't free. She looked puzzled because she hadn't asked for help, but now I was telling her she had to pay for it. She lost the puzzlement, however, when I told her the charge was she had to do something she was able to do for someone who couldn't do it on their own, and to charge them the same price.
Can you imagine what a different world we would live in if every person did what he or she could to help others? Of course, I know that getting everyone in agreement on a single course is impossible. The futility of getting everyone in agreement, however, doesn't mean that we can't or shouldn't do this.
It once took me about five minutes to change the tire for an old man. He was going to slip me $5 to show his appreciation. I turned down the money, and charged him my price. He told me that a neighbor lady had been ill, and he and his wife would take her dinner that evening. The payment was made that day.
His parting words to me were, "God bless you." My parting words to him were, "He just did!"
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Other posts you might enjoy:
*Just When I Needed It Most
A Parrothead Looks at 40
The Kids Are Back!
Remembering Dad: His Newsletter Obituary