Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Stones and Flowers

--by Author Unknown, posted Jan 29, 2007
One afternoon, he discovered that if he tossed stones over his neighbor’s fence, he could create a crashing sound, the sound of breaking glass. So he would heave a stone and wait for the crash. Heave, crash. It was great fun and felt a little dangerous. He might get caught, after all, but that, to a small boy, was part
of the excitement. As it happened, he did get caught.

The man who lived next door came to his house and told his parents about the boy and the stones. ‘I would like Juan to come to my home so I can show him a few things,’ the man said, in a tone Juan found rather ominous. His parents, ashamed of and disappointed by their son’s behavior, readily sent their son to the neighbor’s house. Juan sheepishly followed the man into his house, through the back door, and out into the yard. There, next to the fence, was a greenhouse. The neighbor led Juan into the greenhouse, and Juan, imagining all manner of punishments, felt he was going straight to hell. What was the man going to do to him?

As he led Juan down the rows of plants, the man began talking about flowers. He took Juan slowly, showing him each one and explaining what he loved about them. These, he said, are my gladiolas. They can get quite large and bloom in many colors. These are violets; they were my wife’s favorite. When I see them, I remember her, and I miss her. In the deep purple, she lives in my eyes. And these orchids, right here, are very difficult to grow. But when they bloom, they create the most exquisite shape and texture. You cannot believe until you see with your own eyes how a flower can be so beautiful.

Juan was amazed. There was no lecture, no beating, no punishment. After about an hour of showing Juan everything he loved about his flowers, and the greenhouse that helped him to grow them, he thanked Juan for coming, and told him he was free to go.

As he walked home, Juan strangely felt as if he had been in heaven.  ‘At that moment,’ Juan said, ‘I knew I would grow up to be a teacher. This man had done a very small thing; he showed me what he loved. He could have yelled about the glass, punished me for being cruel, but instead he took a few thoughtful minutes to share with me the fragrances and colors that meant so much to him. In a single hour, that man changed the course of my entire life.’
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Readers Comments

woodrose wrote: Beautiful moving story ~ thank you very much for sharing xxx
Michele wrote: How awesome when god's goodness comes out in a not so good situation like this. He truly was a good teacher.
Passion4Life wrote: It is just amazing to me how one "small" event can change the entire course of one's life.
sewingsphynx wrote: This man also made the boy realize that what the boy almost ruined was in fact a very cherished and irreplaceable thing. It also taught him to value and appreciate what belongs to others.
Judy wrote: If only I could learn to be so giving when the moment is right.
Kathy wrote: To earn respect you must first give it.
Gentle teaching always better than force
speedi wrote: awesome story! What a kind loving man he is so Blessed!
alberta wrote: What a wise man.
guin wrote: oh wow!
what a story.
It's hard to believe that there are people like this.

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