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
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 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 details, the man on
the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his
mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive
Days, weeks and months 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
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 real world outside.He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides 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.'
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own
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
'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present.'