Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to receive his daily medical treatment. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by the description of activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a beautiful lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers held hands and walked amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow.Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
One morning, the nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. To his surprise the window faced a brick wall.
The man called for the nurse and asked what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”
The moral of the story is there is tremendous joy in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money cannot buy. Today is a gift, that is why it is called the present.