Helping Others Is Self Help

Yankel, a Jewish man who survived the Holocaust (the Nazi genocide of European Jews during World War II), owned a bakery in New York’s Crown Heights area. He always said, “You know why I’m alive today?” He then told a story.

“When I was a teenager, I was taken by the Nazis on a train. Night came and it was very cold in that carriage.

The Nazis dropped us off on the side of the tracks overnight, without food. There were no blankets to keep us warm. The cold wind brought snow down our cheeks. There were hundreds of people with us on that very cold night. There is no food. No water. There is no shelter. There are no blankets. The blood in our bodies began to clot.

Next to me, there is a good old man from my hometown. He shivered from head to toe, and it didn’t seem to be doing well. So I hugged him to warm him up. I hugged him tightly to give him heat. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his face, his neck. I begged him to cheer up, to survive to live.

All night, I kept this Old man warm. I’m tired, and cold. My fingers seemed to be numb, but I didn’t stop rubbing heat on the old man’s body.

Hour after hour passed. Finally, morning came and the sun began to shine. I looked around to see other people. It was terrible, all I could see was a frozen body accompanied by deadly silence. No one else is alive. That cold night killed them all.

Only two people survived: the old man and me. The old man survived because I warmed him, and I survived because I warmed him.”

When we warm the hearts of others, we are actually warming our hearts as well. When we support, encourage and inspire others, then we will find support, encouragement and inspiration in our own lives as well.

Canadian poet Henry Drummond said, “There is no happiness in owning or getting, happiness is only in giving.”


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