Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian author, writes about walking down a street and passing a beggar. Tolstoy reached into his pocket to give the beggar some money, but alas, his pocket was empty. Turning to the beggar, Tolstoy told him, “I’m sorry brother, but I have nothing to give!”

The beggar’s face brightened and smiling, he told Tolstoy, “You have given me more than I asked for; you have called me brother!”

Mary was astounded!

Yes, she had understood the shy shepherds who came to greet her son in the manger. She must have shook her head in gratitude at the beasts in the stable who kept ever so quiet as her new born baby slept, but a few months later, she was shocked, for just outside her door were three strange looking men, who though they had the mark of wisdom on their faces still looked totally dissimilar to each other.

A few years ago, I experienced excruciating pain one night! I swallowed painkillers, tried a hot massage, placed ice on my shoulder and arm but the ache refused to go. It came in spasms and my wife watched in dismay as I grimaced with every new attack.

I hardly slept.

Many years ago, my column was read by a well-known person in Canada, who decided he would write to me in the email address generally carried beneath my column. After a few complementary lines on my article, he concluded by saying “Bob, the journalists of today are like the prophet of old!”

I had some knowledge those days of the prophets he was referring to, but decided I would study them further, and at the end of my research was not too sure that the writing profession was the best to be in.

A couple of years ago as a member of an international social organization the club had a problem in hand and a decision had to be made. The committee that met were divided on how to handle the issue and a vote was called for. Each member was asked for his opinion and they gave it till they came to Mr. Bhagat. “What is your decision Mr. Bhagat?” I asked.

“I go with the majority,” said Bhagat (name changed) with a smile. I have never forgotten Mr. Bhagat.