I suscribe to URBAN LEGENDS (snopes.com) a site that purports to research much of the urban legends passing around on the internet. I thought the story of the little boy who was given a glass of milk when he was down on his luck and then went on to become a successful doctor who was able to repay the kindness shown him was a great story.
I never questioned the authenticity of it because it didn't matter to me. It was lovely message that reminded me that we should always seek to be kind to our fellow man; without expectation of reward.
So today I see in my inbox teh exposure of the hoax of the story. It was true that he was given milk when he asked for water, but all the other details are embellishments.
Funny enough when you read the true story (assuming they got it right), you realise the true story is far more compelling. The man was not imporverished as the story made out. The girl was not on deaths door years later. But he did assist her and write on her bill "paid with a glass of milk". Behind the scenes he charged the rich (25% of his clientele) heavily for his services and then delivered services to the poor at greatly subsidised rates (often free of cost to his other 75% clinetele). He even employed a nurse to go check on them regularly sinc he knew they couldn't afford to care for themselves.
Before you go feeling sorry for the rich, they could have gone to another doctor and they didn't. He wasn't the only one in town. The rich don't spend money if they know they can't make it back (exclude their bratty children from that statement).
Hey, it's time to prioritise! Keep the poor healthy; they are the workforce suspending the empires!