Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Wall Outside the Window

--by Purvi, posted Oct 18, 2007
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon,  when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
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Readers Comments

canme wrote: Wow. Very nice.
thaata wrote: Positive attitude towards life is the essence for happiness. The blind saw the world in full color while we see only negativism and made his other occupant a lot happier.
mukesh gakhar wrote: Encouragement only encouragement. Encouragement for every person of the whole world.
Bob wrote: What kind of a man talks for months on end to another man, and never notices he's blind? That is so depressing.

Lori wrote: I agree with you lakedawn. If everyone looked at things in a positive manner we would all be happier people. Find the blessings.
T wrote: Close your eyes and see the beauty that really exist around you,smell the flowers as never before and live life without the interference of the world.
speech wrote: What a wonderful story. Wish the whole world could learn from it. No amount of money could equal the friendship shown by the man before he died.
sego wrote: Man's greatness lies in his power of thought, so what you think of life will be. If you think life is a great, long wall that you need to climb over with so many obstacles so it will be/ if you think life is a walk in the park like wise.

It is all in your thoughts, beautiful story very ethical
cassiemeadows wrote: i think this is my favourite story from this whole site. i love this story, and plan to stick it in my locker at school. thankyou so so so much for it. you have no clue how much a difference it has made to me :)
jess wrote: Great story!...made me look at life in a more redundent way other then taking every thing for granted

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