A Ripple in the PondI’m sure Joel Trachtenberg didn’t know me. He was the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Boston University when I entered the school as a freshman in 1969. My grandfather picked up Dean Trachtenberg in his taxicab for a ride to the airport. My grandfather was quite proud of me, as I had just started college in a combined undergraduate/medical program that would graduate me from medical school in six years instead of the usual eight.
Bragging about me, Morris Roffman of course mentioned my name. “Oh yes,” Dr. Trachtenberg responded. “What a fine young man. You should be very proud.” Here was Dr. Trachtenberg humoring an old and very proud grandfather and making him so happy that he told the story for years afterwards.
If our mission on earth is to be God’s partner in making the world happier and better, Dean Trachtenberg certainly did his part that day. Granted, this was a small act that he probably quickly forgot about, but it made a very measurable difference to at least one person – my grandfather. And here I am almost 40 years later, remembering Dean Trachtenberg’s kind act.
The thirteenth century Jewish philosopher Maimonides teaches that one act can transform a life and change the world. The lesson for us all is to remember that the ripple we create by tossing a pebble of kindness into the pond of life will spread outwards for a very long time.
Please share with me random acts of kindness that involve you – either something done in your behalf or something that you have done for someone else. Such stories are a treat for me to read.
If you have a comment or question about this blog entry, email Dr. Roffman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Roffman can also be found at www.cs4seniors.com
Dr. Joel Roffman has spoken to many church, synagogue and support groups. His book, Coping with Adversity: Judaism’s response to illness and other life struggles is enjoyable, uplifting and informative. It is meant for people of all faiths and can be viewed at www.copingwithadversity.com. It is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com