By Steve Goodier
I am impressed by an incident that happened during Ignace
Paderewski's career. The famous Polish pianist agreed to play a
concert organized by two Stanford University students working
their way through school. Paderewski's manager said they would
have to guarantee the artist a fee of $2,000. The boys agreed and
eventually the concert was held.
Though the two student promoters worked hard, they took in only
$1,600. Discouraged, they told Paderewski of their efforts and
handed him the $1,600 with a note promising to pay him the
balance of $400. But the artist tore up the note and gave them
back the $1,600. "Take your expenses out of this," he said, "give
yourselves each 10% of what's left for your work, and let me have
Years later, Paderewski was faced with feeding the people of his
war-ravaged Poland. Amazingly, even before a request was made,
thousands of tons of food were sent to Poland by the United
Paderewski later traveled to Paris to thank Herbert Hoover, who
headed up the US relief effort. "That's all right, Mr.
Paderewski," said Hoover, "I knew that the need was great. And
besides, though you may not remember it, I was one of the two
college students whom you generously helped when I was in need."
Paderewski reaped a harvest he had sown years before. And so it
is. When we give, we receive. Maybe not exactly the thing we
gave, and maybe not at the time it was given.
It is also true that when we give from our hearts, when we give
in a spirit of love and compassion, we receive even more than we
gave. It's a basic law of successful living. Powerful enough to
change a life.