Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Two Sides of Wisdom

--by misscloud, posted Mar 6, 2009

I was 16 years old, getting out of the train station with my father, and a woman came to him and said that her money had been stolen.  She asked if he could  lend her some money to go back home. My father gave her what she asked and told her not to worry about sending it back.

I was shocked. How could my own father be so gullible? It was obvious to me that she was lying, staying in the station all day long to get the next patsy. 

"She was lying!" I exclaimed. "Why did you give her anything at all?"

My father looked at me and I could see he was a bit angry. "And what would you like me to do," he said, "Should I tell her that I am a college professor and I can see through her scam?" I did not understand him at all, so he told me something that I never forgot.  "First, she would not do this if she did not need the money. Second, I made her day, because now she thinks that she is smarter than me, and I do not mind that. It is more important to her than the money."

A week later, we were at the same place, and the same woman came to my father with the same tale. "Not this time," my father told her, "In your business, you have to learn to recognize people. Try another story on me next week."

Well, he was a prof, after all...and I like both sides of this story.

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Readers Comments

Spoonerism wrote: I really like your father's attitude on this one. I remember seeing someone similar at the airport and having a similar reaction to you. But i'll think twice next time!
InnerAlchemist wrote: Wow, at first, his generosity fed both her ego and purse. Later, his integrity cut through her scam. Do you think she learned anything after the second exchange?
Matthew Noer wrote: Wonderfull, i really like the story. Your father contributed positively to someone both materially and morally.
liztree wrote: Thank you for sharing such a great story - lot's of wisdom!
sheilaellen wrote: Thanks for sharing. Smart father!
Anne McCrady wrote: Generosity and wisdom--we would all do well to be like your father!
PaulynMidore wrote: Wow!

Well said!
Leo Deoni wrote: Very groovy!
raydelove wrote: Hahahaha. Anne maccrady said it right ' generosity and wisdom'. This is a live comedy. We don't need to pay for comedy when its all the lives around us. I saw the comic aspect; the creative aspect and the problem solving aspect. The person wouldn't approach him again; he's solve a problem. Your father wouldn't go thinking maybe he/she could be in need after all.
lmil1954 wrote: I like it too! Thanks for sharing. Linda:)

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