なにかが見えてくる
Mat's メルマガ


===== ☆ =============================================== ☆ No. 3 ===
     ☆☆                  << 心に響く話 >>
    ☆★☆             -- なにかが見えてくる --
   ☆★★☆                   by Mat
- ☆☆☆☆☆ --------------------------------------- 2010/03/03 ☆ --

最近はいやなニュースばかり耳に飛び込んできて、いやな世の中だという思い
にかられてしまいますが、そのような思いを拭い去るような、心に響くステキ
な話を集めてみました。これらの話の中に世の中の明るさを見出し、人の心の
温かさに触れてみてください。そして、何かを考えるきっかけにしていただけ
れば大変うれしく思います。

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**  お知らせ  **
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いつもご購読いただきありがとうございます。さて、誠に勝手ながら、本メル
マガは今月号より「心に響く話」だけの掲載とさせていただき、それに伴いま
して、メルマガ名も「心に響く話」と改名させていただきます。なお、「こと
わざ」と「名言」は別のメルマガ「英語の諺・名言」として、新しく生まれ変
わりましたので、そちらの方のご購読登録もよろしくお願い致します。ご購読
のご登録は本メルマガの最後に掲載しておりますリンクよりお願い致します。

******************
**  心に響く話  ** (from Chicken Soup Newsletter)
******************
(ホームページ上ではオンライン辞書を引けるようにもなっています)

The Timeless Gift
By Harrison Kelly

Shopping for a Christmas gift can be the most nerve-wracking event of 
the year.  Shopping for my wife can be a special challenge.  Vacuum 
cleaners are too impersonal, football tickets are too impractical, 
and kitchen gadgets are downright impossible.  I was at a loss, with 
Christmas fast approaching.  In desperation, I asked my secretary, 
Sally, to help me pick out a present. 

We walked side by side in a fast-paced walk, two blocks to the 
jewelry store.  Working in the downtown business district had its 
advantages; being close to a lot of shopping places was one of them.  
However, there were disadvantages as well.  On the way, our path 
crossed a couple of homeless men, huddled together by a vent from one 
of the nearby buildings. 

I started to cross the street to avoid them, but traffic was too 
thick.  Just before we approached, I switched sides with Sally to 
keep them from confronting her.  They were surely going to beg for 
money, pretending to buy food, but any donation would surely end up 
as beer or wine. 

As we got closer, I could see that one was probably in his mid-
thirties and the other was a boy of school age - around thirteen or 
fourteen.  Both were dressed shabbily, the older with a too-tight 
sport coat ripped at the sleeve, while the boy was without a coat at 
all, only a tattered shirt separating him from the blowing wind.  A 
quarter or two and they'll leave us alone, I thought.  "I'll handle 
this," I said with my best male bravado. 

But Sally seemed undisturbed by the sight of the two beggars.  In 
fact, she seemed comfortable in their presence.  Before they asked, 
she offered. 

"Is there anything I can do for you?" she directed her question to 
the two homeless men.  I was in shock, waiting to pull Sally away 
from a dangerous situation, but she stood firm. 

The two men looked at her with surprise until the older one spoke up. 
"Yes, ma'am.  We do need something." 

Here it comes - the hook, the gouge, I thought.  The two panhandlers 
are looking for a handout, an easy mark.  As I watched, I could tell 
the younger boy was shivering in the winter breeze, but what could I 
do? 

"Could you tell us the time?" asked the older man.  Sally glanced at 
her watch and replied, "Twelve-fifteen."  He nodded his thanks and 
didn't say another word.  We continued on our way to the jewelry 
store, and I had to ask Sally about the encounter. 

"Why did you ask if you could help that man?" 

"He was cold and in need, that's why," she replied in a matter-of-
fact tone. 

"But he's a bum.  He could have tried to rob you or something." 

"I take care of myself.  But sometimes you have to take a chance on 
someone." 

We arrived at the jewelry store, and Sally quickly found the perfect 
gift for my wife - a pair of diamond earrings.  While she was there, 
she bought a man's watch, not an expensive one, but she was always 
thrifty.  Probably a gift for her husband, I thought. 

As we walked back to our building, the two vagabonds were still 
hovering around the sidewalk grate.  Once again, I tried to come 
between Sally and the two, but she wouldn't let me.  To my surprise, 
when we got next to them, she pulled the watch out of the bag and 
handed it to the older man. 

"Here, I'm sure you know how to use it." 

He was as shocked as I was.  "Thank you, much obliged, ma'am," he 
said, trying the watch on his wrist.  As we walked away, Sally had a 
gleam in her eyes, proud of what she had done. 

"Why on Earth did you do that?" 

Sally shrugged and said, "God has been so good to me, and I decided 
to do something good for him." 

"But he didn't deserve it." 

"Even the poor want something special, and besides, God's done things 
for me that I don't deserve - but He did them anyway."  

"He's probably going to buy beer with that watch." 

Sally just smiled at me and said, "Well, so what if he does?  That's 
not my concern.  I did something for good and that's all that matters.
What he does with the watch is his challenge." 

We arrived back at our building and went into our separate offices. I 
wondered about the encounter, and I thought about the two men.  
Surely they were at the pawnshop, getting ready for a hot time at 
Sally's expense. 

The next day, I was going to lunch alone at a hamburger stand outside 
our building.  As I walked down the street, I noticed the same two 
men that Sally and I had encountered.  They were both still hovering 
around the heater vent.  The older man recognized me and said, "
Excuse me, sir.  Could you give me the time?" 

Aha!  I had caught him.  Sally's watch was nowhere to be found.  
Exactly what I thought.  

"Where is the watch my secretary gave you yesterday?" I asked, hoping 
to stir his heart. 

He hung his head down and admitted his guilt.  "Sir, I'm sorry but I 
had to do something."  It was then I noticed the new parka around the 
shoulders of his young companion.  "Wouldn't you do something for one 
of your own?" 

Speechless, I handed him a quarter and continued on my way.  As I 
walked, I started thinking about the incident.  He had sold the watch 
all right, but he bought a coat, not beer, with the money.  Sally's 
act of kindness did have meaning.  So did her words: The challenge 
was answered. 

As I arrived at the hamburger stand, I suddenly lost my appetite.  I 
turned around and headed back to the office.  The two men were still 
by the grate. I tapped the older man on the shoulder and he looked up 
at me, obviously freezing.  I took my long, gray overcoat off and 
draped it over his shoulders without saying a word.  As I walked away,
I knew that my own challenge had been met.  The few steps back to my 
office made my teeth chatter.  But, you know...it was one of the 
warmest trips I have ever made in my life. 

<おじさんの一言>
いずこにおいても、妻へのクリスマスプレゼント選びは頭を悩ますもののよう
だ。筆者はプレゼント選びを手伝ってもらうため、同僚の女性サリーに同行し
てもらう。ショッピングに向かう路上で、ホームレスの父子に遭遇する。筆者
はホームレスに対する偏見から、サリーを彼らに近づけないようにするが、サ
リーは何の偏見も持っていないようだ。お金を恵んでやっても酒を買って飲む
だけだろうと思う筆者に対し、サリーは自分の方から、「何かしてあげられる
ことある?」と声をかける。時間を教えてほしいと言うホームレスに時間を教
えてあげる。店に向かって歩きながら、「どうして自分からあんなことを言っ
たんだ」という筆者のことばに対して、サリーは「寒そうで、困っていそうだ
ったからよ」と淡々と答える。彼女に筆者のような偏見はない。店から職場に
戻る途中、サリーはたった今店で買った時計を先ほどのホームレスの父親に、
特別の素振りも見せず、当然のことのように恵んであげる。筆者は驚き、「ど
うしてそんなことをしたんだ」とたずねるが、サリーはただ平然と「私自身こ
れまで恵まれていたから、彼に何かしてあげようと思っただけよ」と答える。
「彼はそんな値打ちがないよ」と言う筆者に対して、「私だってそんな値打ち
がないのに、神様はよくしてくださったわ。だから私も彼に何かしてあげたか
ったのよ。彼があの時計を売り払って酒を買おうと、私には関係のないことよ。
彼に何かしてあげたということが大事なのよ。その時計をどうするかは、彼が
試されているのよ」とサリーは言ってのける。

翌日お昼に出たときに、筆者はまたあの同じホームレスの父子に遭遇した。今
何時かと聞くので見ると、彼の腕にはサリーがあげた時計はなかった。しかし、
彼の息子の肩には新しいパーカが掛けられていた。彼は自分のためではなく、
息子のためにサリーの時計を使ったのである。サリーのしたこと言ったことに
は間違いなく意味があった。彼は神からの試練にきちんと応えたのであった。
筆者はハンバーガースタンドまで行ったものの引きかえし、職場へ戻る途中、
寒さで震えているホームレスの父親の方へ寄って行き、自分の着ていたコート
を脱いで、何も言わず、彼の肩に掛けてやったのである。これで、筆者自身も
神からの試練に応えたのであった。職場までの道は寒さがこたえたが、筆者の
心は今までになく温かであった。そして、おじさんの心もとても温かくなった。

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