Dilbert Artist Speaks
from Scott Adams' DNRC Newsletter
a more serious note:
Special Holiday Story
a year I like to do something that isn't just for laughs. If you'll switch
gears with me, I'd like to share something with you that will help you find
the holiday spirit.
was 1985. Wendy popped into my cubicle to tell me a little story.
had recently gone for a lunchtime walk with another secretary, Mary.
came upon a street person who said he was hungry and asked for some change.
Mary didn't have any change, but she reached in her purse and gave him the
sandwich she had prepared at home for her own lunch.
Wendy told me the story, there was a brief unspoken pause when we both thought
and felt the same thing -- in all likelihood, that sandwich was the only
food Mary could afford that day.
me tell you about Mary. She is a deeply religious woman who was experiencing
a thirty year run of bad luck that would make anyone question their faith.
She was a single mother, working full time and barely making ends meet.
It was not unusual for her to go a day without eating, though her toddler
daughter never did.
and weekends, as time allowed, Mary used to care for an elderly woman, cooking
and cleaning for her. There was no compensation for this, nor could the
old woman have afforded it. Mary did it because the old woman needed it
and couldn't do it herself. That was all.
Mary tracked me down by phone and asked for some money.
it was for someone else -- another single mother who had some serious misfortunes
lately and was trying desperately to keep her kids.
had already given all of her own money but it wasn't enough. As a last resort,
she called me, having heard from media reports that I might have the means.
often think about Mary and the sandwich she gave to the street person years
ago. I wonder if he appreciated it. And I wonder how long it was before
Mary's next meal. And when I think about it I am glad to be a human being,
as long as one of us is Mary. And then I realize her sandwich has fed me
too. Last week it fed some children and kept them with their mother for
you find something in the sandwich that feeds you too, consider adding Mary
to your holiday greeting card list. Send her a card that says, "thanks
for the sandwich."
theory is that when you do things for other people, good things come back
to you in unexpected ways. That hasn't happened for her yet. I think it's
maintain her privacy, I set up a mail box address for this purpose. I'll
have the cards forwarded to her. Yes, she's a real person, fortunately.
Imola Ave West
This was originally published by Scott Adams in January of 1997. Consider
that fact before sending a card.]