Judging Others

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An Excellent point about judging people on their appearance. Too bad for >Harvard. > > >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 and probably didn't even deserve to be in >Cambridge. > > > >"We want 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, but 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 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. 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. > > > >You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who >they think can do nothing. > > > >A TRUE STORY ----- by Malcolm Forbes
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