Update: 27/03/2021



An old man walked silently on an empty street. The environment in Northern Virginia was so hard at the end of winter. One by one chilly wind blew through his coat. His meager beard was frozen because of the night’s frost. The fast flowing river ahead was slowing his home journey down. At the moment, he just stood there and waited for a miracle, hoping that someone would appear with a suitable vehicle for him to hitchhike across the other side of the river.

Suddenly, the steady sound of the horse’s hooves came closer and closer. He saw a group of knights rushing toward him. They turned at the corner and strolled past in front of him one by one. One, two, three,  and more knights passed as he stood like a statue storing a disappointed look to them. When the last knight came, he looked straight to his eyes and said:

“The river flows too fast. Could you please help me to get to the other side?This maybe the only way and I can not cross the river in such a deadly cold.”

The knight stopped and said,’Certainly, sir! Please get on.’ When seeing a frozen skinny old man who could not climb on himself, the knight got down to help him. Not only did he cross the river but he also escorted him home a few miles away.

When they got to the old man’s home, the knight enjoyed a cup of hot coffee and asked,’Why didn’t you ask for help from the knights before me? Why did you have to wait until the last man came? In such a middle of the cold winter night, what would you had done if I would not have stopped or refused to help? The cold could have killed you.’

The old man answered slowly,’ I’m old and I have enough experience to realize the reaction of other people. There is no care and sympathy from the eyes of the knights before you and the suggestion for help may be useless. But when I saw you, I felt in you the trust, kindness and sympathy loyally clearly. Only one who cares about the pain and suffering of the others is willing to help. My experience told me that you would be the one.

His sincere words touched the knight’s deep emotion. He said,’I really appreciate what you said.”

He kept talking to the sudden fellow traveler,’I hope that I would never lose my sympathy and kindness or refuse to help people sincerely because of my busy work.

After the conversation, the knight continued his journey to the White House. The knight was the 3rd president of the USA – Thomas Jefferson – who was recorded as one of the founders of the USA by history when he bought Louisiana from France. Thomas Jefferson also wrote The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, one of the great human’s rights manifests of the world.


Musician Trinh Cong Son wrote: Do you know why we must have love when living in life? In order to let it go with the wind… Be happy when we are living even though we are tired of it.

In the hurry of time, by accident or intention, we have passed through the lives that need a helping hand. Besides, the media often publishes news that reports the deception, fraud and treason. Therefrom, people’s hearts become more and more gritty and callous. The actions of some individuals that take advantage of the kindness of others for self-seeking faded away the notions of empathy and sharing. After being cheated, we are often afraid of opening our hearts to help and love. People are afraid of deception so they are indifferent. People are afraid of cheating so they have to be emotionless. Cannot blame them but being sorrow and sad. How does humanity become without compassion? The strongs will not stop to help the weaks. The richs will not spend their time to consider about the poors’ lives.

Any one of us has a chance to become a leader. When we were at school, we could be a Leader or a Class Monitor. When we go to work, we can be a Team Leader, Manager, General Manager or Chief Executive Officer  ect.

From people who follow the political path with high positions are more accountable and influential to many others ; to the most basic positions such as a father or a mother. They all are leaders.

However, who knows that the necessary elements or qualities are not at good organization or good diplomacy but that is to have compassion, tolerance and love. Just a man with a wide enough mind is able to love, care and help others, he can also let go of others’ clumsiness, mistakes and faults. True love can touch the hearts of humans, connect individuals together to study happily, to work and to devote willingly.

Kinh Duc
Translated into English by Nguyen Khanh Hoa

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