A Lesson in Kindness

When trying to rent a house in Germany, a well-known Chinese writer got a lesson in showing kindness to others. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

There was a well-known Chinese writer, Yu Qiuyu, who shared one of his personal experiences regarding kindness.

When traveling in Germany, he was about to rent a house. As he was ready to sign a long-term contract, the landlord said: “It’s your first time visiting here and you’re not sure if you like it, so let’s just sign a temporary contract. After you have been living in this house for a few days, if you are satisfied, we can sign the long-term one.”

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So the writer lived in the house for five days. He was satisfied with the place and called the old man to discuss the long-term contract. Suddenly, he dropped a glass and it shattered into pieces when it hit the ground. The writer then apologized: “Sorry! I broke a glass.” The old man gently said: “Not to worry! You didn’t do it on purpose. Let me bring you a new one.”

After the writer hung up the phone, he cleaned up the pieces, dumped them into the trash with the other garbage, and left the bag outside. After a while, the old man came and saw the trash bag with the glass pieces inside. Unexpectedly, he seriously told the writer: “You can move out tomorrow, I won’t rent the house to you.” The writer was shocked and said: “Is it because I broke the glass?” The old man shook his head and replied: “No, It is because you don’t think about others.”

(Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)
The writer cleaned up the broken glass and dumped the pieces into the trash with the rest of the garbage. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

The old man sorted out the trash inside the bag, separating the glass pieces, and put them into another bag labeled: “Glass pieces inside. Danger!”

The old man taught the Chinese writer a lesson – a person should always have the habit of thinking of others. Being thoughtful toward others is an expression of kindness and the hallmark of a principled person.

In the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie wrote: “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others.”

In this world, if we all have the habit of thinking of others first and hold in our hearts the kindness of attentive respect, the world will be a better place.

Translated by Sharon L and edited by Helen

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