A Few Kind Words

Written by Adlai Albert Esteb; Dịch sang Anh ngữ: Nguyễn Duy Nhạc.

This is the story I once heard from a billionaire. “Many years ago there lived an orphaned boy named Jim. At 12, he was emaciated, homeless and always looked sad. He was usually the target of all the cruel jokes and derisions that people in the town could think of. Nobody was kind to him. His name would be the first to be mentioned when people looked for suspects of some thefts or other troubles in town. All Jim got from other people were acrimonious remarks and unkind suspicion, which understandably made him try to stay away from people as far as he could. And the more he tried to get away from people’s view, the more doubtful they would become.
Jim’s only asset was a dog he called Tige, which is not different from its owner in it timid looks and the way it always tried not to get into anybody’s attention. Jim was not rude to Tige but he talked to Tige with the same kind of language that other people used on him. It was because that was the only type of language he had been listening to, and also he needed to release his own frustrations too. One day Jim saw a young lady walking in front of him dropped something on the ground. When she Jim came to help her and picked up the things she dropped.

―Thank you my good boy. You are so kind‖.
The lady smiled to him and patted his head.

Jim felt a big shock. Those were the first kind words he ever heard in the past 12 years. He kept looking at the young lady until she disappeared from his view. … Jim whistled to call Tige, and the dog came with its wagging tail. They walked toward the forest … Jim sat down near the creek while in his ear he still heard those kind words: “Thank you my good boy. You are so kind.” … Jim smiled to himself. Then he called: “Come here Tige.” When the dog was next to him, Jim patted its head and said: “Thank you. You are so kind.”
Now it’s Tige turn to feel excited and surprise. Its ears going up in the air, the eyes were looking at Jim attentively while its tail wagged incessantly. “Even a dog liked nice words,” Jim thought while pulled from his pocket a broken piece of a mirror. He saw a dirty face in the mirror. Jim went to clean his face, and looked at himself again. He felt surprise, as for the first time, his face was looking up and not toward the ground as always. For the first time, he felt a new emotion: the emotion of self esteem.
Since that moment, Jim’s life turned around completely as he had determined to change, so that he can be worthy of the nice, kind words.”
The billionaire paused for a moment then continued: “Dear friends, I was the boy I just told you about. The small town I mentioned is the city we are in now, forty years ago. The tree you can see over there was the place where I met the woman who sowed the very first seed of kindness into my life. I wish that we can all do the same thing.” ♥

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