In the late 1800’s a man and women walked into the Harvard University President’s office. This couple was wearing older torn clothing. They looked very similar to common rail road working people. The couple told the secretary they would like to talk to the president of the school. The secretary asked if they had an appointment. They said no.
The secretary could tell this couple was possibly from the backwoods. She assumed they had nothing of importance to talk to the president about. She already hated bugging this man of importance. Taking the presidents time to talk with this couple was not on her priority list.
After several hours, the couple, waiting patiently asked again, “is there a chance we could speak to the president? We’ve been waiting several hours now and we only need a few minutes of his time.”
The secretary, seeing that the couple were not going to leave, reluctantly knocked on the presidents outer door. She explained that she tried to put the couple off but they hadn’t left for several hours. The president, a bit discuraged, told her to send them in.
The women started by saying “thank you for seeing us Mr. President. I’m here to talk to you about our son. He attended Harvard for one year. He loved it here. He talked about the lovely experences and teachers he had often to us. Our son died unexpectadly about a year ago. My husband and I thought we would like to donate a memorial somewhere on campus to the memory of our son.”
The president was shocked. He said “I’m sorry to inform you, but we have had hundreads of thousands of students come through our school. I’m sure that each of their parents care about them greatly and would love to memorialise their passing in the same way you would like to. The unfortunate fact is that there is no way we can do this. If we put a statue up for every student that passed away, this school would look more like a grave yard.”
The lady interupted “Oh NO… we were not thinking about a statue, we were thinking more on the lines of donating a building.”
The president couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He said “Do you have any idea how much we have in buildings here? We have over 7.5 million dollars (this was the late 1800’s)
For a moment the women went silent. The president was pleased with himself thinking he could get rid of the couple at this point. The women then turned to her husband and said “Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don’t we look at other options, we could just start our own.” The husband nodded in agreement with his wife. The couple left the presidents office never to return to Harvard again.
The couple went to Palo Alto, California and established Stanford University. The couples names in this story were Mr and Mrs. Leland Stanford. The couple started their won university because Harvard no longer cared about their son.
The Stanfords made millions building the Central Pacific railroad. This linked to the Union Pacific railroad in 1869 to make the Transcontinental railroad.
The moral of the story is to not judge a person before you get to know them. Give them a chance. Accept them without makeing judgments. It shouldn’t be what a person can do for you that you prejudge them by. Acceptance, love, and working together should be paramount to living this life in union with others.
I hope you enjoyed this story and take a bit with you in your day. Positive wishes and blessings to you.
Categories: Paul Stotts