Helping is a topic with which I have struggled at a philosophical level. It is easy to ‘help’ and say ‘I do not expect anything in return, but somewhere it hurts’ – a friend recently told me. Difficult to agree and difficult to disagree!

If you do help somebody be clear why you are doing it – are you learning, earning, or having fun. If you help somebody as a favor for that person, OMG you are dead! Interacting with people talking to them to me is so much fun that I love sales, training, teaching, counseling, parenting, etc.  – it surely improves MY communication skills.

So in a way all the ‘help’ that I am doing is because there is God’s rule –‘Givers Gain’ which is the slogan of a network called ‘Business Network International’ an organization started by Ivan Meisner.

So helping others without any return expectation is actually a selfish act – you know that the Universal Rule of ‘Givers Gain’ will work for you! Sounds funny, well it is not.

There are millions of stories regarding helping, but read this one…it is a stunning story!

There was a man named Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved him from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s house. An elegant  nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. “I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” “No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. This is actually quite a normal behavior for sure – saving lives is not an act for which anybody will accept a payment.

At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel. “Is that your son?” the nobleman asked. “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly. “I’ll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.” And that he did. This is another amazing part of the story – knowing how to help, and what help the client will benefit the most.

Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and in time, he graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill.

His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill

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  1. The popular story[13] of Winston Churchill’s father paying for Fleming’s education after Fleming’s father saved young Winston from death is false. According to the biography, Penicillin Man: Alexander Fleming and the Antibiotic Revolution by Kevin Brown, Alexander Fleming, in a letter[14] to his friend and colleague Andre Gratia,[15] described this as “A wondrous fable.” Nor did he save Winston Churchill himself during World War II. Churchill was saved by Lord Moran, using sulphonamides, since he had no experience with penicillin, when Churchill fell ill in Carthage in Tunisia in 1943. The Daily Telegraph and the Morning Post on 21 December 1943 wrote that he had been saved by penicillin. He was saved by the new sulphonamide drug, Sulphapyridine, known at the time under the research code M&B 693, discovered and produced by May & Baker Ltd, Dagenham, Essex – a subsidiary of the French group Rhône-Poulenc. In a subsequent radio broadcast, Churchill referred to the new drug as “This admirable M&B.”[16] It is highly probable that the correct information about the sulphonamide did not reach the newspapers because, since the original sulphonamide antibacterial, Prontosil, had been a discovery by the German laboratory Bayer and Britain was at war with Germany at the time, it was thought better to raise British morale by associating Churchill’s cure with the British discovery, penicillin.

    Fleming’s first wife, Sarah, died in 1949. Their only child, Robert Fleming, became a general medical practitioner. After Sarah’s death, Fleming married Dr. Amalia Koutsouri-Vourekas, a Greek colleague at St. Mary’s, on 9 April 1953; she died in 1986.

  2. very reflecting & learning story , even if it is not true I will take the essence ” its like equity gives on a average 12-15% return in past can not be taken on face value that every year the return will not be 12-15% , but on a longer period of time it will average out at a same level

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