It was a lazy Sunday morning, the type of day that getting out of bed requires an effort. When Marilyn and I entered the kitchen, Lori was already at the table doing her homework. Seeing us coming, she, suddenly, stood and faced me, "Why are there more pictures of Lisa than there are of me? she asked. Lisa is our older daughter.
I stared back, not understanding the question. Lori turned and left the room. Caught off-guard by the question, I looked at Marilyn. "Are there more pictures of Lisa than of Lori?”Marilyn shrugged and raised her eyebrows in a motion of puzzlement. "Are you aware that there are more pictures of Lisa than of Lori?”I added.
Marilyn said, “I've never counted them. I don't know.”
Marilyn’s answer was the same as my thoughts, “I hadn't realized that there was any significant difference. Now why would Lori ask such a question? "I asked.
Marilyn just shook her head and stared back at me. After a few minutes of thought she said,"When Lisa was born, you were taking photographs. You hardly went anywhere without a camera. When Lori was born, you were involved in colored slides(幻灯片). There must be hundreds of slides of Lori somewhere in the house that Lori has never seen or doesn’t remember.
After digesting Marilyn's remarks, I agreed. “After Lori leaves, we'll look for those slides. Who knows, we may find more slides of Lori than pictures of Lisa,”I joked.
Later that afternoon, when we were alone, we went into the basement where we had stored the boxes that we had brought from our previous home. It wasn't long before we discovered the trays of slides, and for the rest of the afternoon we looked at each tray, pointing out those slides that highlighted Lori.
“What are you going to do?”Marilyn asked.
“It's her birthday in a few weeks,”I said, “We'll select about one hundred slides with Lori and convert them into pictures, put them into an album and give her as a gift. I don't know if the album will answer her question, but at least she'll know that we care enough to find her an answer.”
Over the next few days, we secretly went through all of our slides. We kept on selecting and rejecting pictures until we were satisfied. Those pictures brought back memories of the early years of our marriage and we hoped they showed how we felt about our daughter. Marilyn had them converted into photographs. Then, we placed them into an album with a birthday card explaining why her mother and I had put the album together. When the album was finally finished, we hid the book until her birthday.
On November 24，before leaving for work，I opened her door and slipped the album inside. Then I left the house and drove to work. I was about to enter the office when the telephone rang. I picked up the receiver, and on the other end of the receiver, a tiny voice spoke,” I love you， Daddy,” she said and then disconnected. The receiver remained against my ear for a few more minutes before I placed it on the telephone. Our message had been delivered and acknowledged.
It was 1939, and the Great Depression had made all of our lives much harder, but we didn't know how poor we were until our father said my brother and me down on the coach in our living room to have a talk.
I will always remember the sad look in Father's eyes as he stared down at his hands, rubbing them back andforth, while he searched for the words to tell us that our family wasn't going to be celebrating Christmas this year.
A month later, on Christmas Eve, I lay awake in bed late into the night, trying to talk myself out of sneaking into our living room to see if Santa had come. I gathered my courage, then tiptoed down the hallway, hoping I would see the bright sparkling light of the of of our Christmas tree standing proudly in the corner of our living room like it did every year.
Instead, I was greeted by my 17-year-old brother, Frank, we slept on our living room couch. “Hey, little one. what are you doing up?”He whispered.
I started to cry. “There's no Christmas tree.”
There would be no present, no singing, no Christmas dinner. I felt like we were the saddest family in the world. My disappointment overwhelmed me, I look forward to Christmas each year. It was all It wasn't only the present. It was that special feeling I got from seeing my family happy. we haven't been happy in such a long time.
On Christmas morning, the sun shone into our chilly bedroom, waking me up. “Maybe Santa came. Maybe he came!”I suddenly insisted. My eyes searched the living room, but there was no Christmas tree. I broke into uncontrollable tears.
I ran to Father in tears and threw my arms around him. “We aren't going to have Christmas this year.”
“Now, now, now, calm down. Go on in and see your mother. She will comfort you.”Dad slowly pushed the bedroom door open, leading me into the room.
Out of the corner of my eyes, I noticed something different in the bedroom. In the small space was the brightest and most beautiful Christmas tree I had ever seen. Our family’s Christmas decorations swung from its branches, shining in the morning light. Great excitement and surprise flooded in- I rushed to the tree. I stood there and stared at it with tears rolling down my cheeks. So incredible was I couldn’t believe my eyes. But it occurred to me that our family couldn’t afford it in the tough time. “How did you make it?”I raised my question.
With my question answered, everything dawned on me.Mom had sold three small pieces of jewellery she had to a local shop. My brother had worked extra hours at the grocery store in the last two weeks, and Dad had sold some of his tools. With all that, we could have Christmas. Words failed me. Tears rolled down, so did my continuing warmth and gratitude. Our Christmas tree looked the same, but this year, it seemed brighter. Christmas of 1939 was the most magical Christmas that reminded me of what was essential in later life-love from a family.
My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father are farmers, and so are all myfamily. My father had a fixed idea that I would bebecome a farmer too. Although I respect himand am indeed skilled at doing some farm work, I don't agree that I should automaticallyfollow in my father’s footsteps.
When I was a teenager, my father happened to take me to an airport which belonged toone of his friends. It was the first time I had seen an aeroplane in real life. Knowing that I hadnever been on board, my father's friend Tom offered me an opportunity to fly with him in hissmall aeroplane. I quickly accepted his offer! When we took off, I felt nervous but thrilled. Being up in the clouds and looking at the view below was unlike anything I had ever felt.I was just enjoying it. I assumed being a pilot would be the most awesome thing in the whole world. From that day on a thought crept into my mind that I wanted to become a pilot, but I doubtedwhether myfather would support me. After all, it was a totally different path from what hehad planned for me. Therefore, I put the thought to the back of my mind, because I knew hewould still insist on holding onto his previous idea.
Anyway, besides helping my father on the farm, I would frequently visit Tom's airport. Gradually, I got familiar with every button and switch on the aircraft and I learned a lot aboutplanes, such as how to fill the plane with fuel, how to check the engines and so on. But what Ihad learned just left me wanting more, so I decided to go to college to become a professional pilot.
This time I would not hide my desire any more. Determined to follow my heart, I explained to my father how I felt. I told him that I wanted to go to college to learn to fly instead of being a farmer. After saying this, I waited nervously for his reaction. To my surprise, he approved my request, and he told me he was moved by my perseverance. With his support and my efforts, I was admitted into my ideal college.
At the graduation ceremony, with my father present, I, as “Best Pilot”, had to deliver a speech. In my speech, I shared with the audience my story about how a teenage realized his dream. Faced with difficulties, I took a path that led me to something that needed passion, training and practice. I also owe my success to my father’s support. Without his understanding, I couldn’t have pursued my dream. At the end of my speech, I spotted my father’s watery eyes, and said,“Dad， I made it!”His face lit up with prize.
"Ada!Milk!" Mama called.
Milk. It was Ada's turn to get it. Ada sighed and shut her first-aid book. Her head hurtfrom reading in the dim morning light, but how else was she going to learn?
Ada tied the cow close to a tree. Somewhere down the mountain, some volunteer doctorswere teaching medical skills to village nurses. Ada heard Betty drive off hours ago. "Sheshould have taken me with her. She thinks I'm too young, but she's wrong. I am already 16!”Ada thought.
Ada carried the milk back to Mama, then wandered up the road. Roy, a village boy, hadgotten a donkey, and some kids had gathered around to see it. Roy was always doingsomething to get attention. Like now: he was trying to stand on the animal's bare back.
“No wonder they don't trust kids with anything important, ” Ada thought, sighing. Shehad just turned away when she heard a thud(重击声) and a few screams. Roy lay on theground nearby moaning in pain. The donkey stood several meters away. " Roy! "The kidsnearby ran towards him. “GetBetty” one said. Ada shook her head. “Betty's gone to thecity. " The other kids seemed frozen in place.
Ada ran to where Roy was tying. She dropped to her knees on the dusty road. "Roy! Canyou hear me? Roy moaned in agony. Ada saw that one of his legs was crooked, bent a littlesideways between the knee alland the ankle. A broken leg!
She remembered what the first-aid book had said about broken legs: If there is noambulance, straighten the bone before moving the victim. There certainly wouldn't be anyambulance here. Ada looked back up the road. The other kids were still standing therewatching. "Victor!" Ada called to one of the boys. "Go get Roy’s mama, and find someonewith a truck.” She turned to the others. " Give me your shirts. We need something to tie his leg with.”
Ada then found a strong stick, which she would use to keep his legs straight. Then she wrapped the shirts around Roy’s leg and stick. Painful and worried, Roy cried out in tears, his face as pale as a sheet paper. “I know it hurts, but this will hold it still(副词：静止不动) until you get to the hospital”. Ada comforted/ calmed him in a soft voice. After what seemed to be centuries, Ada managed to finish the first aid, breathing a sigh of relief. She looked up and saw Roy’s mom who was watching a few meters away, with a truck following behind her.When Ada stepped backward, Roy’s mom ran over, held Roy’s face in her hands, and constantly expressed gratitude to Ada. Eventually Roy was lifted into the truck with the help of the kids around and rushed to the hospital.
The next day, Betty came to Ada’s home. She told her that her quick action of helping Roy yesterday had spread across the village. “When I learned about the news, I was at a loss of words. The volunteer doctors hope to see you too.” Betty said with a bright smile, tapping her shoulder firmly. Hearing this, Ada jumped to her feet with excitement. Undoubtedly, she had proved that she was not just a kid but a reliable person who can provide first-aid for someone in emergency. Betty added, “If you want, you are welcome to be an assistant for me, when someone in this village needs help next time.” The golden sunlight slid in Ada’s room, lighting her face as well as the future path for her to follow the dream of pursuing a medical career.(Brimming with pride and confidence, Ada strengthened her dream and determination to pursue a career in the medical field.)
Norwood, a junior at St. Petersburg's Lakewood High School，participated in the school’s
Athletic Lifestyle Management Academy. The program prepares students for various careers in
health science with two components. The first one is a hands-on skills component where the
students have to demonstrate that they are expert in the skills of adult, child and infant CPR(心
肺复苏术），how to help somebody who's choking, as well as how to use an AED(自动体外颤仪). And the other is a written test component, showing that they master that knowledge. Norwood took a great interest in the programme, which was in line with her initial career pursuit in the future.
On the first day of the programme, her instructor Miller did vital signs and students learned
how to take blood pressure, check pulse, and apply CPR. Norwood watched closely and performed the hand-on skills well.
Norwood and Simmons shared a long friendship. They had been friends since the seventh grade and since then they had built an unbreakable bond. The following day after school, the 16 year-old girl Norwood was driving three friends home in St. Petersburg, Florida, when another driver slammed into her from her left and sent her car rushing forward in an uncontrollable way.
“We crashed in someone's yard and I hit the tree,”Norwood said. The impact jammed shut the driver's side door, so Norwood climbed out of the front window. Two of her friends managed to get out of the car unharmed, but the collision caused her 16-year-old friend Simmons to hit her head on the backseat window.
When Norwood turned around, she didn't see Simmons running with them so she had to run
back to the car as fast as she could. Simmons was just sitting there unresponsive. Apparently, she
passed out owing to the huge impact force. The unexpected crash left the girls in panic. A lot of
people started to gather around to see what was happening. The crowd watched in astonishment,
open-mouthed. Someone advised to make an emergency call immediately.
And that was when the training Norwood had just learned kicked in. She started yelling, "Back up! Back up! She needs space! She pulled Simmons out of the backseat, avoiding broken glass from the window. Then she checked her pulse on the neck, put her head against Simmons'chest, and started doing CPR on her immediately. After the 30 compressions and two rescue breaths, Simmons regained consciousness(came back to life). The ambulance quick arrived and Simmons was rushed to the hospital without delay, where she received stitches for a cut in her forehead.
When Miller and her students learned about the news, they were at a loss ofwords and so proud. “I was just absolutely astounded（震惊的）,” Miller said. It is so astonishing that Norwood should rescue her friend with the knowledge and skills she learned in such a short time. This is what every teacher dreams of.” Simmons was overwhelmingly touched by her friend and conveyed her sincere gratitude to Norwood with tears rolling down her cheeks. Brimming with pride and confidence, Norwood strengthened her determination to pursue a career in the medical field.
When she was twelve years old, Raha earned a scholarship to study at a boarding school inEngland. Her father told her to studyhard and practice running every day in England. She nodded
because that is much easier than staying happy in a completely new country. Several days later, shekissed her family and boarded the plane for England. As the plane took off, she looked out of thewindow at the goats and brown rivers of Kenya. She stared down at the green fields where she usedto run like the wind, barefoot(赤脚的).
At school in England, Raha had lots of math problems to solve, essays to write, and books to
read. She also joined in the school running team. They were preparing for an important running race,in which runners from different schools took part. In order to practice running, her coach gave her astriped shirt, white shorts, shoes with cleats(防滑钉) and another pair with spongy soles((吸水鞋底)for cross country. Honestly speaking, she had always run barefoot at home, so the shoes felt tight(紧的). But all the other runners wore shoes and Raha didn’t want to be different.
The team practiced every weekday afternoon. On Saturdays, everyone watched football-everyone but Raha. She would run alone on the country roads barefoot and run over fields thick withmud just as in her hometown. Each day at lunch, she would sit alone in the large dining hall, eatingdishes totally strange to her and missing her family.
One Saturday, Raha ran up a hill and found herself in a barnyard(谷仓前的空场地). To hersurprise, one of her classmates, Thomas, stood just inside the barn doors. After he greeted her, Rahaasked,“Why aren’t you watching football?”“I have to help my father”,said Thomas, “but whyaren’t you wearing your shoes?”
On hearing this question, Raha felt awkward. However, she collected her courage totell him the truth. You are used to running barefoot? That' s amazing. "said Thomas,"Buteverybody has his way to do something, so just run in your own way. " Then he expressedhis admiration and support to her. Raha was moved to tears the instant she heard whatThomas said. She also felt warm and encouraged. From then on, she devoted herself topracticing running every day, barefoot.
On the day of the race, all the runners were wearing professional suits and shoes,except Raha. She stood on the lane, barefoot. However, she was not feeling ashamedbecause that was her way to run. "Come on, Raha, you can make it! It was Thomas whowas cheering for her. Suddenly, she felt more confident. At last, she won the first prize andbrought honor to her school. From then on, she could not only concentrate on studying andrunning, but she also stayed happy in the new school.
We were enjoying the summer vacation on the beaches of beautiful Gulf shores Alabama. Myoldest daughter was about 6 years old and the youngest was 3. We bought a two-man inflatable boatthinking this would make for a really fun day for the two girls. And so it did. The two of them playedall day in that boat.
Not far from us, a middle-aged man was taking a sunbath, greeting us with a smile now and then.Later the little one got tired and was beginning to look pretty pink with too much sun. So, I took her toour spot on the sand and placed an umbrella over her as my older girl continued to play in the boat. Iprobably became a little too involved with my younger daughter and spent a little too much time nonoticing what was going on the small distance to the water. But as I looked I became concerned as Isaw the little boat had moved far out from the shore with my oldest daughter in it. I called to her tocome in closer to shore but she seemed to be too frightened to accomplish just that. We hadn't thoughtto buy any oars for the boat. Her little arms were too short to reach across the boat and into the water.All she could do was paddle hard to one side and was just making small circles.
About this time, others on the beach noticed this but no one seemed to be doing anything but
watching. Being a pitiful swimmer, I was standing as far out in the water as I could, shoutinginstructions to her with no success. I watched her float farther out to sea and prayed to God, "Lord, Idon't believe you gave me this beautiful child for me to watch her float out to sea. Lord, please saveher!”
As if by miracle, that middle-aged man turned out to be the answer to my prayer. Before I knew it, he jumped into the water and swam toward the boat. I kept my eyes on his figurewith my heart racing wildly. At one time, he was swallowed by the huge waves and we lost sight of him. Anyhow, he reemerged and made steady advances towards his goal. After what seemed to be centuries, he managed to reach the edge of the small boat. He then turned around and made his way back, pulling and calming my girl. Eventually they made it back to shore and got a storm of applause.
I reached out my hands as my girl got out of the boat.My daughter was trembling all over, her face as pale as a sheet of paper. But I knew she was more frightened than injured. I held her tight in my arms and breathed a sigh of relief. Tears of gratitude filled my eyes and I couldn’t utter a single word. It took a long time before I restored my power of speech. I turned around to say “thank you” to the middle-aged man, only to find he was nowhere to be found. Even today I don't know his name, but his kindness always remains in the depth of my heart and inspires me to pass this kindness on.
The icy wind howled across the empty street and it was an unusually quietday in the emergency room on December 25th. Quiet, that is, except for the nurses who were standing around the nurses' station complaining about having to work on Christmas Day, for peoplewere supposed to be spending time with their families, exchanging gifts and wishes.
I was guiding nurse that day and had just done clean-up in the waiting room. Sincethere were no patients waiting to be seen at the time, I returned to the nurses' station for acup of hot coffee that someone had brought in for Christmas. Just then, a colleague came backand told me I had five patients waiting to be evaluated.
I was surprised, “Five, how did I get five; I was just out there and no one was in thewaiting room.”
“Well, there are five signed in.”
So I went straight out and called the first name. Five bodies showed up at my guidingdesk, a pale short woman and four small children in untidy clothing.
“Are you all sick?” I asked suspiciously.
“Yes,”she said weakly and lowered her head.
“Okay,” I replied, unconvinced,“Who' s first?” One by one they sat down, and I askedthe usual beginning questions. When it came to the descriptions of their symptoms, things gota little vague. Two of the children had headaches, but the headaches weren't accompanied by the normal body language of holding the head or trying to keep it still. Two children hadearaches, but only one could tell me which ear was affected. The mother complained of acough, but seemed to work to produce it.
Something was wrong with the picture. Our hospital policy, however, was not to turnaway any patient, so we would see them. When Iexplained to the mother that it might be alittle while before a doctor saw her because there were several more critical patients. Sheresponded, “Take your time; it's warm in here and there is a Christmas tree.”
Then she turned and, with a smile, settled her kids in the waiting room. Though warm, it was uncomfortable for children, who nestled closely by the Christmas tree. The youngest kid was staring at gifts on the tree, exclaiming something to her mother. Unfortunately, she was met with refusal, which failed her to hold back tears. Guilty and upset, great sorrow clouded the mother. The rest froze, with eyes falling on their little sister. Realizing they were homeless, I went back and told my colleagues what had happened.
My colleagues, complaining about working Christmas, turned to sympathy for the homeless family. Soon we were busy preparing presents for our unexpected guests, who just wanted to stay warm on Christmas Day.With gifts in hand, the kids were wild with joy. A flush of happiness filled the waiting room and we were able to locate a shelter that would take the family in. As they were leaving, the mother hugged each us and whispered, "You're our angels and it's your lovewarms us up! As they disappeared into the far distance gradually, a strong sense of satisfaction poured into my mind. While I didn’t celebrate the festival with my loved ones, I extended warmth to the homeless family. Sometimes, only a little kindness can light something shining, making the world more beautiful and harmonious.
I was a single mother in my 30s who lived down and out with my daughter Peggy in asmall apartment, struggling hard to make our needs meet.
One day, I headed to the downtown for an interview, I sat down in the streetcar, andthere against the seat was a beautiful silk umbrella with a silver handle decorated with goldscrolls, among which there was a name carved.
On impulse( 冲动) I determined to find the owner myself. I got off the streetcar in theheavy rain and thankfully opened the umbrella to protect myself. Then I searched a telephonebook for the name. Ifound it immediately and called it, waiting patiently, and then a lady answered.
"Yes,"she said in surprise, with extreme excitement. "It was my umbrella which hadbeen stolen a year ago.”
So appealing was her pleasure that I forgot I was looking for a job and went directly tosmall house. She took the umbrella, with teary eyes, explaining with choking voice that theumbrella was given by her parents, now dead. Her happiness at retrieving( 找回)this special possession was such that to have accepted her reward would have spoiled something, so Irefused her offer and left.
The following months were hard. I can only obtain temporary employment, for a smallsalary. What was worse, I had just lost my last job before Christmas, with only fifteen dollarsleft. Unless a miracle happened, I would be homeless in January, foodless and jobless. I hadprayed steadily for weeks, and there had been no answer but this coldness and darkness.
The air was full of Christmas merriment, with the bells ringing and children shouting inthe bitter dusk of the evening. But there should be no Christmas for me, I knew, no gifts,noremembrance whatsoever.
Thinking of this, I couldn't control my tears on my way home, but I managed a smile soI could greet my little daughter. She opened the door for me and threw herself in my arms,screaming joyously and demanding desirably for her Christmas gift. There I stood, frozenoverwhelmed by misery.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang and Peggy rushed to answer it, calling that it must be Santa Claus. Then I heard a man talking heartily to her and went to the door. He was a delivery manwith his arms full of parcels. “This is a mistake”, I said, but he read the name on the parcels and they were for me. When he had gone, I didn't know what to do. Later, Peggy and I sat on the floor, looking at each other. What a surprise! I searched for the name of the sender.
Suddenly, a note attached to one package caught my eyes.I picked up the note, which read“Thanks for your returning of the umbrella. Merry Christmas!”It was sent by the lady. Holding the note tightly, I was on the verge of tears, with a stream of warmth spreading across my body. On the cold Christmas, I forgot I had no money for the rent and only fifteen dollars in my pocket. We just sat in our small apartment unwrapping the gifts one by one in happiness. A sweet peace flooded into me like a blessing, which made me hopeful again.
My senior year of high school was an extremelybusy one. If I wasn'tstudying and worryingabout my grades, I was taking part in multiple extra-curricularactivities or attempting to make preparations for college.
Finally, as my senior year began to wind down, I got a part-time job at the local cafe.Ihadfigured that the job would be easy and, for the most part, stress-free. I pictured myself pouring excellent coffee, making delicious cakes and becoming close friends with the regularcustomers.
Who I hadn't counted on were the people with great orders that chose to use the drive-throughwindow, or the women who felt that the coffee was much too creamy, or the men
that wanted their iced coffee remade again and again until it reached a certain level ofperfection.
There were moments when I was annoyed with the human race as a whole, simplybecauseI
couldn't seem to please anyone. Nevertheless, I kept at it.
One miserable rainy day, I spent my afternoon handing people their orders and waiting asthey slowly counted their pennies. I tried to smile as the customers complained about the rain, but it was difficult to smile as they sat in their temperature-controlled cars with the windowsrolled upwhile I dealt with huge droplets of water hanging from my visor(遮阳帽舌). On top ofthat, no one was tipping. Every time I looked into my nearly empty tip jar, I grew moredepressed.
Around four o'clock, one of my regular customers named Hank came in lookingdepressed and defeated. My co-worker and I asked what the problem was and if we could help, but he wouldn't reveal any details. He just said he felt like crawling into bed, pulling thesheets up over his head and staying there for a few years. I knew exactly how he felt.
Before Hank left, I handed him a bag along with his iced coffee. He looked at me
questioningly because he hadn't ordered anything but the coffee.Heopened the bag and saw that I
had given him his favorite type of cake. "It's on me. "I toldhim. “ Have a nice day !” He smiled
and thankedme before turning around and heading back out into the rain.
Around seven o'clock the next evening, Hank drove up to the window. Instead of
Orderinganything, he handed me a bunch of flowers. He said not too many people took the time to careabout others, and he was glad that there were still people like me in theworld. I was very touched and almost forgot what had happened on the previous day. I happilythanked him. As the day passed, I had plenty of complaining customers, but any time I feltdepressed, I thought of Hank and his kindness. I would smile, hold my head up high, clear my throat and politely ask, “How can I help you?”
During the past year, I've had three instances of car trouble. Each time these thingshappened, I was sick of the way most people hadn't bothered to help. One of those times, I wason the side of the road for close to three hours with my big Jeep. I putbig signs that said"NEED A JACK(千斤顶) and offer money". Nothing. Right as I wasabout to give up, a Mexican family in a small truck pulled over, and the father got out.
He learned the situation and called for his daughter, who spoke English. He conveyed through her that he had a jack but it was too small for the Jeep, so we would need something tosupport it. Then he got a saw(锯) from the truck and cut a section out of a big log on the sideof the road. We rolled it over and put his jack on top, and we were in business.
I started taking the wheel off, and then I broke his tire iron. No worries: He handed it tohis wife, and she was gone in a flash down the road to buy a new tire iron. She was back in 15minutes. We finished the job, and I was very happy.
The two of us were dirty and sweaty. His wife prepared a pot of water for us to wash ourhands. I tried to put a $ 20 bill in the man's hand, but he wouldn't take it, so instead I wentup to the truck and gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I asked the little girl where theylived. "Mexico, "she said. They were in Oregon so her mommy and daddy couldwork on afruit farm for the next few weeks. Then they wouldgohome.
When I was about to say goodbye, the girl asked if I'd had lunch. I said no because Ihadn't prepared any food for lunch for I had thought that I would be able to reach my destinationby noon. Hearing that, they invited me to have lunch together with them. So we ate together ina vacant
lot by the side of the road. During that time,I told them what had happened to me and how I felt. They shared interesting stories about theirlives in Mexico. After lunch, the girls mother put a paper bag in my hand. I showedgratitude again and we said goodbye to eachother.
After they left,I got into my Jeep and opened the paper bag. There were somedelicatefruits in the paper bag. Under them, I saw my $ 20 bill! I turned around quicklyonly to find they had gone. Moved deeply, I thought myself that I wouldbest to help more people in the future to make our world more beautiful and warmer.
Part two: 家国情怀，公益事业，志愿服务
After a long day, Zhang Tian finally got back to his small room, feeling tired. He had started working at seven in the morning, and it was eight in the evening now. He had to prepare his lessons for the following day.This is a typical day for Zhang Tian. Coming to Guizhou Province to teach has been quite an experience for him.
Zhang Tian graduated from university and got a teacher's certificate last year. His parents, like most, hoped he would go to a big city to find a teaching job. Likewise, his friends all left his hometown for work in Shanghai or Beijing. Zhang Tian felt differently, however. He wanted to start a new lifestyle. He had met wonderful teachers from small villages during his early school years and he was inspired by them to go and teach where he was needed the most. For that reason he applied for and became a volunteer teacher in a village school. Bringing with him lots of books, clothes, and two pairs of trainers, Zhang Tian travelled to the village with an eager heart. He imagined all sorts of exciting things about living independently and teaching in a village.
However, not everything lived up to Zhang Tian’s hopes. The school had just three teachers and Zhang Tian was the only English teacher. The other two local teachers were responsible for maths and Chinese.The school was much smaller than he had expected, with only three classrooms. In front of the classrooms, there was a playground which got dusty on windy days and muddy on rainy days. Living in the village was also more challenging than he had thought. The power and water supplies were unstable, so he could only shower every three or four days, and he had to learn how to cook.
The thought of leaving once flashed through his mind.So terrible was the school that he couldn't help giving up. He walked back and forth, scratching his head and stamping his feet. Suddenly, a little girl ran to Zhang Tian.Her eyes shone like diamonds and full of eagerness for knowledge, which struck his heart and raised his original intention of coming here. How could he let hardship to ruin his will of spreading hope for these lovely children? During the following days, the sound of reading books was like a beautiful melody, flying in the small school.
Zhang Tian's first service year is almost over. It was time to leave. His kids buried faces in their arms, sobbing silently. Zhang Tian stepped into the room firmly, saying gently that he wouldn't leave. “Nothing could delight me than teach here. It is not doing something we want but doing something useful that makes me happy.” He thought. Again, the sound of reading flooded everywhere in the small school.
In 1989, fresh out of high school, I had the difficult task of choosing a career path before
college started in three months. In those days in Pakistan, there were limited options:becoming a doctor or an engineer, or entering the financial world after getting a businessdegree.I wasn't interested in engineering, so that I was left with medicine or business. Icouldn't decide.
My uncle, an influential person in the family, suggested that I do a work placement toexperience it for a month in an international company followed by a month in a hospital. Afterthat, I could make a decision. It seemed like a brilliant idea.
I was accepted for a month’s placement at a foreign bank in Karachi. I got a feel for howtheworld of finance functioned, made new friends, and generally enjoyed the mostly easygoing work surroundings.
The month passed rapidly, and soon Ibegan working at a leading hospital in Karachi. The experience couldn't have been more different. The hospital had an intense environment.The days started early (at 7 am, compared to 9 am at the bank), and were filled with endlessduties. And the night calls! This was crazy, working all day, through the night, and again thenext day.
I began thinking about my two experiences. The bank had offered a more relaxingatmosphere, better working hours and less stress. The hospital was full of excitement andunpredictability, but the studying and training was difficult. It seemed that the businessoption was going to win out.
Near the end of my month at the hospital, I was driving home after an especially busynight call. Infront of me was a public bus, with college students sitting on the top. As thedriver weaved through(穿梭) traffic, I could see the boys shaking from side to side.
Suddenly, a boy fell off the back of the bus. He hit the road face down and rolled over so heavily that he lay motionless in the middle of the road. Frightened and shocked, the crowd gathered around the boy and did nothing. I knew that if the boy was bleeding into his brain, he could die soon. I stopped my car immediately，rushed to the boy and lifted his unconscious body into my car with the help of some passers-by, racing back to the hospital. Since I wasn't allowed into the operation room, I drove home.
The next day, when I went to hospital to see the boy,all his family got up, with grateful smiles on their faces.The mother held my hands with tears welling up in her eyes/ rolling down her cheeks.“it was you that saved my boy! you are an angel," she repeated over and over. After comforting her, I went over to the boy. He managed to smile and squeezed my hand. No words were spoken between us--none were needed.A surge/flush of excitement poured into my mind, which I had never experienced. In our daily life, sometimes a small act of kindness can really make a difference to others. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
September is most beautiful in Strathroy, where people wholeheartedly enjoy thepleasures of life and nature.
Roland was no exception. He was a magnificent German shepherd(德国牧羊犬), a littlelazy and overweight though. He loved to doze in the backyard. He yawned and stretched hisbody as he heard slowly approaching footsteps of Mrs. Proudfoot. "Come, have your lunchdear! "said Mrs. Proudfoot with her usual fondness for him and he wagged his tailaffectionately in return.
Roland was licking the last piece of meat in his plate when the door bell burst into music.
Mrs. Proudfoot hurried to answer the door. Roland stood alert by her side.
“Good noon. Mrs. Proudfoot.”It was Sam, her teenage neighbor. " Oh! You look pale! What happened? "asked Mrs. Proudfoot with genuine worry. She immediately waved him inand closed the door behind. Mrs. Proudfoot was a lonely widow(寡妇), but was well loved inher neighborhood especially by kids, though she had no kids to call her own.
Once encouraged, Sam disclosed his dilemma. "My friend Barry losta rare book of theschool library. It costs one hundred and fifty dollars, but he has only fifty-five dollars and his
poor parents can't afford to pay the rest. Barry is working part time but that's far fromenough."With a dramatic sigh he continued, "If he doesn't refund the loss before the end ofthis term, he will be dismissed from final exams. That will ruin his future! I have to helphim, whatever it takes. He's my best friend."
“Don't worry, Sammy. You want me to pay... but Mrs. Proudfoot was interrupted.
“No, no, Mrs. Proudfoot. This is not what I came here for, I will work for you. Would youfavor me to walk your dog please? For two dollars a day.”He looked up with begging eyes.
Mrs. Proudfoot clapped her hands in agreement.“ That can't be better! I have beenworried about Roland lately. He does need some exercise! It's nice of you to make such anoffer.”
Sam thanked her over and over. "I will start tomorrow morning.”
Sam arrived very early the next morning.Seeing Roland lazily bathed in mild sunshine with eyes narrowed into a line, Sam darted/ dashed/ zoomed/ rushed towards him with arms widely opened. Catching glimpse of Sam, Roland politely wagged his tail and then turned his head away, falling sound asleep again. Desperately brainstorming, Sam got a piece of delicious bone from Mrs. Proudfoot. Lured by the tasty smell, Roland swiftly bounced up （跳起来）and jumped at(欣然接受) the bone，following Sam out. In this way, the first day was smoothly finished. Day by day, Sam was delighted to find Roland gradually became willing and eager to have a walk outside.
A month later, Mrs. Proudfoot was delighted to find Roland fit and energetic. Enjoying the pleasure to roam/ wander(漫游闲逛) along the country road with Roland, Sam also harvested a lot from the relaxing time. Eventually one day, Sam was excited to tell Mrs. Proudfoot , “Barry and I have earned enough money. Thank you, Mrs. Proudfoot. But can I continue walking Roland for you? For free.”Happily, Mrs. Proudfoot nodded. Receiving a positive answer, Sam was wild with joy and Roland, wagging his tail merrily. Sometimes, only a little kindness can light something shining, making the world more beautiful and harmonious.