This was just an email floating around, but definitely worth the read. It’s quick and may change your point of view.
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to
help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only
window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families,
their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service,
where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up,
he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he
could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for
those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened
by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked
a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while
children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst
flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the
landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man
on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it.
In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with
Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the
window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the
hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch,
and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his
first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing
it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window
beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what
could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful
things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and
could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”
Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our
own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared,
is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that
money can’t buy. “Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”