Pradeep Kumar Panda

Abstract Action Inspirational


Pradeep Kumar Panda

Abstract Action Inspirational



3 mins

A lady in a faded grey dress and her husband dressed in a homemade suit walked in timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office.

The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods individuals had no business at Harvard and probably did not even deserve to be in Harvard.

"We want to see the President," the man said softly. "He will be busy all day" the lady secretary snapped. "We will wait" the lady replied.

For hours the secretary ignored them hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They did not and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president.

"Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they will leave," she said to him. The president. stern-faced and with dignity strutted towards 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 & I would like to erect a memorial for him, somewhere on the campus".

The president was not touched, in fact, he was shocked. "Madam," he said gruffly "We cannot put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery".

"Oh, No..No.." the lady explained quickly. "We do not want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to your Harvard in his fond memory".

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the lady's dress and man's suit and 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 costs 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. & Mrs. Leland & Jane Stanford got up and walked away, travelling to Paolo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name: Stanford University - a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

Most of the time we judge people by their outer appearance which can be misleading. And in the impression, we tend to treat people badly by thinking they can do nothing for us. Thus we tend to lose out on potential good friends, employees or customers.

Though, it may not be convenient for you, do your best to always be supportive. Especially to your friends even if you think they can't offer you anything. 

Arrogance is a killer of friendship .... a soft word turns away wrath! Humility is a virtue, so, please continue with it.

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