Two Very Different Rewards

As we go through life we are told, “You can’t pick your family but you can choose your friends.” This is SO true. Looking at different characters around you and picking out good people to be friends will be one of the most important things you ever do in life. However remember, all the good people are doing the same so you must ask yourself, “Do I qualify as a good person?”
There are countless different characters in the world. Here are just two very different examples accompanied by the sort of experiences they have.


The Bank

One day I went into my bank in The High Street. It is very large and there was a huge queue. Two people in front of me in the line was a man with hiccups. I really don’t think I have ever seen a worse case before or since. It was very loud and on each occasion he went “HIC!” After a few minutes and realising that everybody was watching him he tried to keep quiet and forced himself to keep his mouth shut. Of course we kept watching this poor chap all the more. Although we couldn’t hear the “HIC” we would see him shudder and almost jump in the air with the force of it. Eventually it was too much for him and he just burst out with a very loud “HIC”.

From then on it was a regular occurrence, although we did see him holding his nose once in some sort of attempt to stop but it was no good. After a few more minutes a kind lady from the bank’s Information Desk came over with a glass of water. She offered to hold his nose while he drank it, as she insisted this was a definite cure, as long as he drank it all down in one go.  Even the bank employees were watching as this took place. A few seconds after emptying the glass there was a loud sigh of disappointment from all of us, as yet another “HIC” leapt forth from his mouth.

It must have been 15 minutes before we were near the front and throughout that time this man continued to suffer rather loudly being simply unable to stop himself. Eventually it was his turn. The conversation went like this:

Customer: “Could I, HIC, take out £300 from my account, HIC, please?”
The cashier looked at his cheque card, saw the name and said, “Of course Mr Green, that would be a pleasure.” There was a pause whilst she looked at her computer screen. The only noise was another loud, “HIC”. Then she continued with a wide-eyed expression of surprise, “I’m very sorry Mr Green but your card has been refused. I’ve checked the computer and it says you owe the bank £53.”
“What?” came the loud reply, “I have over £6,000 in that account and if this is an attempt by the bank to steal it then there’s going to be trouble. Look again!
Cashier: “Sir, I don’t have to. The computer is never wrong. Perhaps you spent it without realising.”
“Without realising? WITHOUT REALISING?” he screamed. “How could I spend £2,000 without realising? Call the manager.”
The whole queue was gripped. He was clearly very angry.
Cashier: “Oh wait a minute. There it is. It turns out our money was there all along Mr Green, how silly of me!”
“How silly? You nearly killed me with shock” he shouted.
Cashier: “Yes sir, but those awful hiccups have gone.”
He stood for a moment in realisation and, as he started to smile we all found ourselves clapping.

At that moment we all watched in amazement as he started to leave, stopped himself, put his hand on his chest and smiled. He then turned back to the cashier and said,” My dear, you’ve no idea how good that makes me feel.” He then promptly gave her a £50 note from his cash and walked away with a wide grin on his face.



At 14.23 on 23rd August 2009 a 22 year old man ran straight into the road in New York and was knocked down by a yellow taxi. There was nothing the driver could have done. All witnesses agreed.
Unfortunately he was extremely seriously injured, perhaps because he had been running so fast straight into the path of the car.
The ambulance men quickly arrived and said it was touch and go for the unconscious victim.
They managed to keep him alive using every medical instrument at their disposal and he was rushed to A&E. His clothes were cut from his body so that the full extent of his injuries could be assessed and as usual one nurse went through his pockets to see if there was anything to identify him in order to contact the family.
As the doctors efficiently went about their tasks to save him, the nurse suddenly spoke saying, “Oh! His name seems to be Daniel Stevens and the only thing amongst the money in his wallet is a “Do Not Resuscitate” card. In fact there is even a hand written letter accompanying it”.
She then read it out whilst the doctors continued to work to save him.

It said:

To Whom It May Concern.

I have very clear religious beliefs and if you are reading this then I must ask that you respect them. If my time has come then please let me slip peacefully away. Do NOT spend time trying to bring me round. I write this to emphasise that my “Do Not Resuscitate” card” is something I have adopted after very serious consideration.
I now leave my fate in your hands and am sure I can trust your professional approach to follow my wishes and do the right thing.

Daniel Stevens.


The doctors stopped and looked at each other. One said, “Hang on, we can save him.”
However, the senior surgeon stepped in and said, “Unfortunately, there are far bigger moral and professional issues here for us to consider. this is a young adult male, not a child so his wishes must be respected. For instance, apart from anything else, if we ignore his wishes we leave ourselves open to a massive legal claim from his family. His religious beliefs must come first and we have no option or even a right to ignore them. We must let him go”.
Within a few minutes this resolute young man had passed away and the doctors shook their heads at the waste of such a young life.

About an hour later a police car drew up outside A&E with two policemen, who said were following up a report investigating a violent mugging at 14.20 of an 89 year old, seriously ill man, called Daniel Stevens. There obviously had been no struggle when the youth demanded money and used threats. The only thing taken was a wallet. The police had just received a report from a bystander that the mugger had quickly run off, been knocked down moments later and taken away in an ambulance.

They asked to speak to the young villain.

At that moment a lot of things made sense.



You must ask yourself, when at school, which of these two people would you have picked as a friend. Personally, I would go for the bank cashier who, just for a moment, was cruel in order to be kind.