A glass of Milk, paid in Full

by Stephen on September 15, 2008 · 268 comments

in Moral Stories

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

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

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 from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

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

Dr. Howard Kelly 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. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, 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.

Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.”

Author Unknown

If you find this story useful, please share with a friend!

{ 268 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gemma Thorne November 4, 2008 at 8:41 am

Very good

2 Annie Tumulak Calupitan November 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm

It’s amazing.
I just posted in a Friendly Website regarding finding the man who sent me this story as it was deleted in my inbox.
But alas! Not even ten minutes, I found it.
God is great!

3 Stephen November 18, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Thanks, Annie!

4 Plat March 8, 2009 at 3:54 am

Great thankful lesson.

5 Ndoumah Victor April 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

One good turn deserves another.

6 Lina May 1, 2009 at 10:50 am

Wonderful story.

Thanx a lot

7 Laxmi June 22, 2009 at 12:07 am

One little help save her life

8 Larrons Matina September 21, 2009 at 9:22 am

Its very nice, I have read this earlier but still reading it again has the same effects of renewal “What u sow, so shall u reap” Good deed never go in vain even today.

9 Zoya Sajjad September 28, 2009 at 6:31 am

It is a good lesson for kids “what you sow, so shall you reap”.

10 Prianna September 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Really nice and makes me feel to be more giving to other.

11 Anna November 8, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I don’t really get the ending. Could someone explain it to me?

12 Rem November 28, 2009 at 1:15 am

As always, great story..thanks for sharing it.

13 Ramesh December 8, 2009 at 6:27 am

Great story, for one cup of milk he helped lot means how much we should be grateful to all mighty god, who has given a lot to our life.

14 Boniya December 30, 2009 at 10:59 pm

A great life -inspiring story

15 Jess January 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm

@Anna, in the beginning of the storie a little boy was given a glass of milk by a stranger. The woman would not take payment from the boy. This boy grew up, finished school, and became a doctor.

Now the woman who gave him a glass of milk became sick. The doctor that took her case just so happened to be that very same little boy that she gave the milk to. Remember she would not take payment for her act of kindness? When she got the bill for all of her treatments, she saw that her act of kindness WAS REPAID back to her. The doctor basically was saying in that phrase “You helped me when I needed help, Now I am returning your kindness. Consider your bill paid in full with that glass of milk you gave to me years ago.”

16 Josh March 5, 2010 at 11:48 am

I love it….

17 Chidambaram March 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Hey. It is fantastic. I used the story for the yoga classes I used to attend every month which we used to discuss about some moral stories.

18 Vinay Natekar March 26, 2010 at 2:51 am

Fantastic motivational story. What goes around comes around.

19 Jeny April 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

This story tells us clearly that “Service to Man is Service to God”. We must first think that how we’re getting help in our tough times. That’s , We are not getting help from Man We are getting help from God through Man’s kind heart.If you see clearly We’re not getting help from everyone we expect to help us at times. But if you really believe in God and ask him for help then surely you’ll get it from somebody whom you may not known even before. That’s the simple logic which we can’t analyse and understand but can feel and realise………

20 Sonam July 4, 2010 at 5:49 am

It is a lovely and fantastic story. If we help someone then later when we are in trouble they will help us like this story…

21 Ashri July 5, 2010 at 5:54 am

I’ve learned from the story that never forget them who quenched your hunger.

22 Kiran July 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

It’s a real moral tale that every one needs to learn….. From simple morals like these only we can enjoy the seet fruits of life. My thanks for author.

23 Jesu July 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

It helped me, thank you so much!

24 Sundari July 23, 2010 at 3:31 am

Truly excellence.

25 R.Sharif July 29, 2010 at 5:20 am

It is a impressive story and leaves a strong impact upon the listeners.

26 Feroz Mohiuddin August 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm

It’s true when you help someone God will definetely help you sooner or later.

27 Shashank lal August 4, 2010 at 7:41 am

God is Great! Thanks to Dr. Kelly he remembered his kind friend and showed kindness in return, a great thing god has and he has gifted us also.

Thanks for the beautiful story.

28 Hari August 5, 2010 at 5:51 am

It’s really touching the hearts.

29 Lala August 7, 2010 at 12:51 am

Wow…it’s amazing story…

30 Dr Pramod Arora September 1, 2010 at 6:28 am

A wonderful and touching story. It compels me to share with all, a similar experience,a decade back.

It was a cold wintry mid night in Delhi. At a desolate spot, my two wheeler developed a snag. I could not fix it and was stranded.The roads were deserted. looking around for help, i spotted some people huddled around a bonfire, some 100 meters away. I dragged my scooter there and asked for a mechanic, if any, in the vicinity. An elderly looking gentleman from the group, sent a boy for a mechanic. The boy returned soon, only to tell the mechanic has gone somewhere and will come soon. Middle of the night, amongst strangers i had my own doubts and apprehensions, about the mechanic. What if he refuses to work so late at night. As for exhorbitant charges, I was willing to pay happily. It was not long before a thin built young boy came and asked the problem. He was the mechanic. He took over and spent app one hour to fix the problem. I profusely thanked him, and asked how much I owed him for the job. To my utter surprise, he refused any money. When I persisted, this apparently semiliterate MAN said politely: Earn I whole day. I need not work for money at this hour of the night. I came for the sake of humanity and I cannot charge for that.

I was dumbfounded but he did not, even, wait for my Thanks. I always keep him in my prayers. I pray may his tribe increase many fold and I be one of them.

31 Zac September 12, 2010 at 8:30 pm

God is great.

32 Abe Ibrahim September 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

Thank you for sharing – It is hard to stay composed when one reads the scripted note… I pray to do the same!

33 Priyanshu October 14, 2010 at 12:11 am

A good story which teaches us to be kind.

34 Abdullah October 21, 2010 at 5:33 am

Great! Made me cry!!!

35 Prarthana October 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

It is a fabulous one. I never heard it before. I think that the doctor remembered the kindness of lady.

36 Zarnain November 1, 2010 at 6:29 am

Very kind of you to send such a nice story.

37 cmmudkavi November 10, 2010 at 6:11 am

A beautiful, touching story. It has lot of kindness filled in it.

38 Biju November 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Yeah, a really touching story filled with lot of kindness.

39 Alaa November 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I love it so much and it will be the main topic in my presentataion in the university.

40 Anant December 23, 2010 at 1:08 am

It’s very nice.

41 Tevero January 9, 2011 at 6:12 am

I love these kind of stories…it is very uplifting.
Praise God

42 Nihal mahanto January 15, 2011 at 4:00 am

Yes, as the above readers told about this is really a good story …and I learnt that if you give the best the best will come back to u and the incident happened with Dr. Pramod arora is also inspirational plez read that…thank u all.

43 Canada Marvin February 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Nice story.

44 lewis February 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

i have been reading this wonderful and beautiful small story since my first year of my Bachelor course and still i am reading. whenever i read the tears drop from my eyes automatically i don’t know…this small story always teach me how should i be grateful for even the least thing that people do to me…Thank God that i read this story…

45 Kirti February 21, 2011 at 12:20 am

grt kindness

46 maha March 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm

really touching…
thank God..

47 Mohammed March 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

A really good story which every one has to read and understand to help the needy

48 samina March 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

Wow! I cried reading this. We are thankful to God for giving us people like the women, Dr. Kelly and the mechanic boy from Dr. Arora’s incident. They inspire us to be like them. I was reminded and felt greateful to all the people who helped me and I am most grateful to the Lord, almighty for everything.

49 sandy April 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm

It’s an excellent story…So never send back from ur home if anybody came to you in a need…Do atleast little than nothing…God doesn’t leave ur help,,, He helps u through some one when you are in need ..

50 shubham April 5, 2011 at 7:29 am

awesome story it”s really just fabulous>>>>>><<<<<<<<<

51 Penelope April 20, 2011 at 7:30 am

I am only eight but I got a lot of meaning out of this story. Even though, I must admit I am emotional, this story would make the toughest person on earth’s heart melt. I am grateful to whoever posted this story, my summary on it got me a good grade in my English advanced creative writing course!!

52 Saumitra Pandey April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Amazing story, very touchy and moral is be kind to others.

53 Roshni April 28, 2011 at 8:11 am

Excellent story………..It made my heart warm………Thank you to whom who posted this fantastic story!!!…..!

54 Faizan Zubair May 8, 2011 at 2:49 am

love it

55 P.laskar May 14, 2011 at 7:10 am

A really awesome story for all ages. I personally feel this a true example to teach and learn what is called humanity and mankind.

56 Leni May 25, 2011 at 12:43 am

I really love the story…!

57 sharoon June 13, 2011 at 1:23 am

Great one. It’s all about our deeds. So friends, do your best and never expect anything.

58 varunn June 24, 2011 at 1:41 am

A great story

59 Aroonkumar June 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Superb story!! Super like this story!!

60 Sohail Bin Sayeed June 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I liked it so much that I appriciate the writer that he has presented it in a good maneer that it shows that every good action is rewarded one or the other day, just the right time should come. I Salute the writer and say that the story was fabulous… amazing, unbelievable.

61 Bhuvan Shree Rathour June 28, 2011 at 5:17 am

A good act of kindness. These acts make us more human. I love it.

62 Baxw6 June 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

This story tells us that: if you help people, you help yourself.

63 Courtney June 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Now that was great! I learned that we can come from nothing to being something as long as we do not forget who help us to get there. It it also shows that we only need to pay that respect in how we earn it; money is not everything.

64 JJ June 30, 2011 at 6:08 am

Dear Dr. Howard Kelly – If you help People who have helped you – that is Only Gratitude and there is nothing great in the act. Jesus has Teached us to Help People from whom you can expect back no help – ie called Greatness. Dude – Accept this and Change your Attitude.

65 Venugopal July 4, 2011 at 1:10 am

I feel The Young lady’s help is greatest in this context because she helped the boy in the most miserable condition of hunger without expecting any return from him. But what Dr Kelly has done is he just repaid for what she has done for him.

66 Cay July 4, 2011 at 8:04 am

Great teaching. If we all practise this the world would be a better place!

67 Lila July 6, 2011 at 1:53 am

A very beautiful story. We used it for our class assembly, it turned out great. It had a wonderful impact on all and we had a great time acting it out.

68 Girygirl July 11, 2011 at 11:49 am

So others said that “If we all practice this the world would be a better place” that is right…. so people try to practice it.

69 Claire July 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

Nice story. “Paid in full with one glass of milk”

70 Mitali Jain July 23, 2011 at 6:52 am

Wonderful story with wonderful lesson. It was awsome. Thanks.

71 Rose July 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Very beautifuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul story

72 Gaurav July 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

For me, it is a wonderful story…. thx.

73 Mai July 26, 2011 at 12:56 am

Two thumbs up for Dr. Howard Kelly.,, you showed us that you deserved all the kindness you have received,.. God is good..

74 Yeng July 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

Very nice story….. it really touched my heart!!!

75 Ali August 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm

so nice

76 doreena August 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

Wow….! I’m speechless..xD

77 Tuikorosam August 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Very nice story….teaches us to be kind everytime to everyone..thanks..

78 Gaurav_Luthra August 20, 2011 at 10:04 am

I think this story will appreciate those who blindly help others. Very very Good story, I loved it!

79 Naveeng August 25, 2011 at 8:23 am

A good act of kindness. These acts make us more human. I love it.

80 Maine August 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Great !! I really Love this story

81 Anthony August 29, 2011 at 9:25 am

wow that’s a touching stroy

82 David September 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

All acts of kindness come back to you, some way, some how.

83 Bany September 25, 2011 at 5:54 am

Great story to share.. very touching…

84 JC October 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I would have done the same thing.

85 Balu October 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm

God is great

86 Karthi October 11, 2011 at 2:06 am

Wow, greatly inspired, the doctor did not forget old favors in his life.

87 Chijindu October 11, 2011 at 8:58 am

Our prayer is that we wil leave to reap what we have sowed so from today sow good because you never know when you will reap.

88 Jyothish kurumbathur October 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Very nice story. Please Try to share this stories with children.. It helps child to frame helping mind and kindness.

89 Jenny Doll October 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

Nice story, I like it. I love uuuuuuuuu

90 Mahwash October 28, 2011 at 12:10 am

Awesome story. Everyone should have such a great heart.. KIDNESS IS ALWAYS REWARDED..

91 Govind October 29, 2011 at 5:22 am

nice … :)

92 Shekhar November 5, 2011 at 11:59 am

It is a great inspiring story for me as a trainer of Youth Work. I can cite this story as a example of humanity & kindness.

93 Isha November 9, 2011 at 7:51 am

Very good & inspiring story. Really good one.

94 Gaurav November 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

God is merciful.

95 Motivational Speaker November 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Such a heartwarming story. It really goes to show that when helping others even by the little things you can be rewarded tenfold.

96 Marquee November 18, 2011 at 12:37 am

Kindness has a price that anyone can afford to give and have. We should not be selfish about it for if we give, we can receive as well. This story will always remind us that even a little act of kindness can make or cause a huge difference in a person’s life.

97 Shiv Shankar November 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Very good and heart touching story.. as you sow, so shall you reap… very inspirational story.

98 Lyka November 21, 2011 at 2:14 am

It was such a good lesson for me and to everyone! I was very touched and enlightened as the poor boy was. ! God is POWERFUL..!

99 Manikandan November 25, 2011 at 5:00 am

Good story

100 Jonathan Lkr. November 27, 2011 at 8:29 am

The work of Charity is like depositing money to the bank of God, He keep in interest for us and one day he will pay it back to us. Thanks for meaningful story.

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