Skip to main content

A True Story

As appeared on TruthorFiction 

A lady in a faded grey dress and her husband, dressed in a home-spun suit walked in timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn’t even deserve to be in Harvard.

“We want to see the President “the man said softly.

“He’ll be busy all day “the secretary snapped.

“We’ll wait” the lady replied.

For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president..

“Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave” she said to him. The President, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him “We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.”

The president wasn’t touched….He was shocked. “Madam” he said, gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly ” We don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.”

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, and then exclaimed, “A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.”

For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly,

“Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don’t we just start our own?”

Her husband nodded. The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name: - Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

Most of the time we judge people by their outer appearance, which can be misleading. And in this impression, we tend to treat people badly by thinking they can do nothing for us. Thus we tend to lose our potential good friends, employees or customers.


Comments

  1. Episodes like that, the true ones, really make one's day. They have the uncanny power to pull you out of your habitual well of routine, and throw you into the limitless ocean out there, an ocean full of light, inspiration, and that rare feeling of pure joy. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Best Podcasts for HR Professionals

For HR Leaders, who dont have time to browse through HR articles or attend SHRM events or HR Conferences, HR Podcasts is a great way to keep up with the HR Trends.

Here is a list of curated Podcasts from the world of HR






1.
Nine To Thrive HR
2.  Lunch Conversation with DriveThruHR
3.  HR Happy Hour
4.  The Bill Kutik Radio Show
5.  Human Resources (HR) & Human Resource Management (HRM)
6.  HBR IdeaCast
7.  Fistful of Talent
8.  Hiring On All Cylinders
9. Lets fix Work by Laurie 
10.  Work Life Podcast by Adam Grant 
11. TalentCulture’s Live Radio Podcast
12.  HR Happy Hour 
If you need help with Employer Branding, Follow us on Twitter @EmpBrandIndia.  and get in touch with Ruchi Bhatia at 9911112396 , ruchibhatia23@gmail.com

If you would like to sign up for Employer Branding newsletter , sign up here
https://www.123formbuilder.com/form-3776370/

HR must focus on Hi - Touch in the age of Hi- Tech world

We live in world where technology is omni present. In this era of hi-tech world, Hi- Touch becomes most important. Those organizations, departments, teams, individuals stand out who provide Hi Touch experience to their employees. 
HR is undergoing through transformation .Almost every industry and every sector is disrupted by Digital Technologies. Cognitive Computing, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data , Analytics are not just buzz words but real technologies which are shaping businesses. Almost every company has a department which is charged with the responsibility of Digital Transformation. That means newer technologies are making  way into the organizations across departments . HR is not left behind either . There are apps for well being, reward and recognition, performance management, feedback, learning, social referrals, recruitment . Almost every function of HR leverages technologies to provide Hi Touch experience to employees. Employee engagement is still an issue which cos…

Exclusive Invite for World Economic Forum by KPMG

This made my day. I have been following World Economic Forum , Davos , Switzerland since last few years without fail.

This year I got an exclusive invite by KPMG to participate online. Wow.
Hopefully, I will attend WEF at Davos Switzerland in person someday !

Dear Ruchi,
We are contacting you on behalf of KPMG International to see if you would be interested in joining an online initiative that looks to connect the world to discussions taking place at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, between 23 – 26 January 2018.
For the past six years, KPMG International has supported the event through WEFLIVE, an innovative social media aggregator that provides a simple way to follow Twitter conversations from delegates and trending topics from the forum.
As someone who is a regular and influential commentator on diversity and inclusion - a topic we know will be one covered during the forum - we would like to invite you to become a WEFLIVE participant.
By joining other online inf…