Thursday, November 24, 2005

Reaching down

On Thanksgiving it seems appropriate to have a story of giving. It is a story of thanks for the human spirit that will always reach down to help others.

You have probably been to La Guardia Airport in New York City. Its namesake, Fiorello LaGuardia is the star of the story. The story is reprinted in full from its original source.

La Guardia, Fiorello (1882-1947)

US politician and Mayor of New York (1933-45), nicknamed the “Little Flower.” A popular figure, he introduced labor safeguard schemes and improved housing in the city. He was director of the US Office of Civilian Defense (1941-42) and director-general of UNRRA.

(Bennett Cerf records an occasion on which La Guardia was presiding at the police court)

“One bitter cold day they brought a trembling old man before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. His family, he said, was starving. ‘I’ve got to punish you,’ declared La Guardia. ‘The law makes no exception. I can do nothing but sentence you to a fine of ten dollars.’

“But the Little Flower was reaching into his pocket as he added, ‘Well, here’s the ten dollars to pay your fine. And now I remit the fine.’ He tossed a ten dollar bill into his hat. ‘Furthermore, he declared, ‘I’m going to fine everybody in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a man has to steal bread in order to eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant!’ The hat was passed and an incredulous old man, with a light of heaven in his eyes, left the courtroom with a stake of forty seven dollars and fifty cents.”

Happy Thanksgiving

1 comment:

Launa Lazariuk said...

Wow! That story, kinda gives me hope. who would have known?