Sunday, November 15, 2020

Let This Be A Lesson

 Do Not Judge A Book By Its Cover

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office.  The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard, & probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge.
'We'd like to see the president,' the man said softly.
'He'll be busy all day,' the secretary snapped.
'We'll wait,' the lady replied.
For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away.
They didn't, and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted.

'Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they'll leave,' she said to him!
 He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, and he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.  The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.
The lady told him, 'We had a son who attended Harvard for one year.  He loved Harvard.  He was happy here.  But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed.  My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.'
The president wasn't touched.  He was shocked.
'Madam,' he said, gruffly, 'we can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died.  If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.'
'Oh, no,' the lady explained quickly.  'We don't want to erect a statue.  We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.'
The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, 'A building!  Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs?  We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.'
For a moment the lady was silent.  The president was pleased.  Maybe he could get rid of them now.  The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, 'Is that all it cost to start a university?  Why don't we just start our own? '
Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.
Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name, Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

Moral of the Story:

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

 ~~ A TRUE STORY by Malcolm Forbes ~~


  1. Sorry, it sounded good, but...


  2. Nice story!
    Judging by appearance/clothes happens a lot in life, though on a smaller scale.
    For example, when trying to buy a jewellery piece, the vendor wouldn't even bother to take it out of the display window to show it to the person asking to see it...

  3. That quote is so fantastic and gets right to the point of not judging a book by its cover. We never know who we are talking to, so it's better to be kind to everyone. Hugs and thanks so much! RO

  4. THIS is the total absolute complete truth! Well said my dear friend.

  5. That is a fabulous story you told us. I read it to my husband and we both were talking about it for a while. Thank you so much for telling this story.
    We often judge people by their look, how wrong it is, how unfair!
    Stay safe and healthy, stay mighty!

  6. Thanks so much for reminding us of this! Especially in today's world it is something we should think about. Loved it!

  7. we did in daily life: judge by appearance...bias.

    Have a great day

  8. Thanks for sharing this.
    Wishing you a good week ahead.

    All the best Jan

  9. I just checked Snopes also and found the same information that it was not true. However, it's a lovely story and does show that you shouldn't judge a person by their looks.

  10. Just popping in to say hello and hope you have an amazing weekend! Hugs, RO


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