A true story about Dr. Howard Kelly a distinguished physician from John Hopkins University

One day, a young boy was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, he found he had only one rand left, and he was very hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house he came across. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked her for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk instead.

He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said, "Then I thank you."

As the boy left the house, he not only felt stronger physically he felt mentally stronger and rejuvenated, he had been ready to give up and quit school.

Many years' later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

The young man who had now grown up and had become a doctor was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won and she was finally healthy. The doctor requested the hospital office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it and then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.

She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"

This past weekend the annual Comrades Marathon event was held. There are approximately 20 000 people that participate in the race, the race is approximately 90km long and is run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. 

I remember reading an advert once describing the race and it went something like this:

Up the longest and toughest hills
Running through rain and mud
Getting up before dawn every day for six months
Going through pain and suffering

.....and that is just to get to the start.

This was quite a motivating and powerful statement. 

In order to just get to the start you have to put in so much hard and difficult work. Usually alone without anyone to help you.   

Life is a lot like this statement, most of our hard work is done behind closed doors and alone. Practicing a new skill or working on something, usually alone slowly getting better and better. 

Running the Comrades Marathon requires a huge amount of hard work and commitment to achieve the goal of finishing.

People can learn a lot from the commitment, dedication and perseverance it takes to finish the race and use it in their personal lives.