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Putting others first

Regular columnist Ruth Tong considers the joy we can bring to the world by putting others happiness before ours.

There were two men, both seriously ill, who 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.
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 out of the window. As he described each scene in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the world outside; he began to live for those one hour periods.
Weeks passed and sadly the man by the window died. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. As he painfully propped himself up to take his first look at the world outside in months he found he faced a blank wall. He was overwhelmed by the selflessness of his companion who had sought to colour his world for an hour each day despite his own pain.

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Proverbs 22:11 ‘He who love purity of speech will have a king for a friend’.
“Lord please help me to think others when I’m tempted to focus on my own problems and feel sorry for myself” - Amen

The image above is courtesy of



Ruth TongRuth Tong is the Coordinator of Women’s Ministries at Eternity Downham Market, and is the author of ‘Love Drops from Heaven’.  Ruth regularly blogs at


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Network Norwich and Norfolk > People > Opinion > Putting others first

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