A Law of Successful Living,
By Steve Goodier
I am impressed by an incident that happened during Ignacy
Paderewski's (November 18, 1860 - June 29, 1941) career. The
famous Polish pianist agreed to play a concert organized by two
Stanford University students working their way through school.
Paderewski's manager said they would have to guarantee the artist
a fee of $2,000. The boys agreed and eventually the concert was
Though the two student promoters worked hard, they took in only
$1,600. Discouraged, they told Paderewski of their efforts and
handed him the $1,600 with a note promising to pay him the
balance of $400. But the artist tore up the note and gave them
back the $1,600. "Take your expenses out of this," he said, "give
yourselves each 10% of what's left for your work, and let me have
Years later, Paderewski was faced with feeding the people of his
war-ravaged Poland. Amazingly, even before a request was made,
thousands of tons of food were sent to Poland by the United
Paderewski later traveled to Paris to thank Herbert Hoover, who
headed up the US relief effort. "That's all right, Mr.
Paderewski," said Hoover, "I knew that the need was great. And
besides, though you may not remember it, I was one of two college
students whom you generously helped when I was in need."
The story illustrates a law of successful living: sooner or later
we will reap what we sow. Paderewski reaped a harvest of kindness
he had sown years before. Those who sow love will eventually reap
love. Those who sow goodness will reap even more. Those who sow
fear and mistrust will reap an unwanted harvest later.
It's a basic law of successful living. And powerful enough to
change a life.
Steve Goodier's books & newsletter: