Settling Accounts with a glass of milk

To pay for his education, a poor boy used to sell goods from door to door. One day, the young boy found he was really hungry but had no money to buy any food. He decided to ask for something to eat when he knocked on the front door of the next house.

A beautiful young woman opened the door, and the boy lost his nerve. He simply asked for a drink of water, too embarrassed to ask for food. The young woman brought him a glass of milk, which the boy greedily drank.

The boy asked her how much he owed, but she simply smiled and said her mother had taught her to be kind to others and never expect anything in return. The young boy left the woman’s home with a full tummy and a heart full of renewed strength to push on with his education and continue working hard. Just when he was ready to quit, the woman had instilled in him newfound faith and fortitude.

Years later, in a big city, renowned surgeon Dr. Howard Kelly was called to consult on a woman who was suffering from a rare disease. When the woman told him the name of the small town where she lived, Dr. Kelly felt a faint memory arise in his mind, and then suddenly recognition dawned on him. She was the woman who had given him the glass of milk many years ago.

The doctor went on to provide the woman with the very best care and made sure she received special attention. In fact, it was his skills as a doctor that saved her life. After a long and difficult hospitalization, the woman was finally ready for discharge home. The woman was worried it would take her years to settle her account with the hospital. Her serious illness and long hospital stay had produced a substantial bill. However, when she received the bill, she found that Dr. Kelly had paid the entire bill himself and written a small note for her.

The note simply stated: Paid in full with a glass of milk.

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