The prettiest angel

For the past 20 years I have spoken to all kinds of audiences in the character of Benjamin Franklin, complete with costume. One day, I was visiting and talking with pupils of a primary school...

Where I’m belonging

A little girl whose parents had died lived with her grandmother and slept in an upstairs bedroom. One night, there was a fire in the house and the grandmother perished while trying to rescue the child...

The secrets of Heaven and Hell

The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed and his legs crossed and his hand folded in his lap, he sat in deep meditation, he sat...

The hand

On the Thanksgiving Day, a school teacher asked her class of first-graders to graw a picture of something they were thankful for. She would know how little these poor children actually had to be thankful for...

A Glass of Milk

There once was a poor boy who spent his days going door-to-door selling newspapers to pay for school. One day, as he was walking his route, he started feeling low and weak...

Courage of the heart

I sit on the rickety auditorium chair with the camcorder on my shoulder and I can feel the tears well up in my eyes. My sixyear-old daughter is on stage, calm, selfpossessed, centered and singing out her heart...

The gentlest need

At least once a day our old black cat comes to one of us in a way that we’ve all come to see as a special request. It does not mean he wants to be fed, or to be let out. His need is for something very different...

Compassion is in the eyes

It was a bitter, cold evening in Northern Virginia many years ago. The old man’s beard was glazed by winter’s frost while he waited for a ride across the swift-flowing river. The wait seemed endless...

Puppies for sale

A little boy appeared under the store owner’s sign, “Puppies for Sale.” “How much are you going to sell the puppies for?” he asked.

True love

Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the well-known German composer, was far from being handsome. Along with a rather short stature, he had a grostesque hunchback...

On courage

A little girl was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease...

Love: The one creative force

A college professor had his sociology class go into the Baltimore slums to get case histories of 200 young boys. They were asked to write an evaluation of each boy’s future. In every case, the students wrote, “He hasn’t got a chance.”