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The Law of Unselfishness
from Christian Herald)
have a friend who is a famous New York neurologist, and
many dipsomaniacs come to him after having been pronounced
incurable by other specialists. When I asked how he treated
them, he told me about a man we’ll call Bill Wilkins.
Wilkins, a Wall Street broker, woke up one morning in a
hospital for drunkards. Despondently he peered up at the
house physician and groaned, “Doc, how many times
have I been in this joint?”
You’re now our half-century plant.”
suppose liquor is going to kill me?”
replied the doctor solemnly, “it won’t be long
said Bill, “how about a little snifter to straighten
guess that would be all right,” agreed the doctor.
“But I’ll make a bargain with you. There’s
a young fellow in the next room in a pretty bad way. He’s
here for the first time. Maybe if you showed yourself as
a horrible example, you might scare him into staying sober
for the rest of his life.”
of resentment, Bill showed a flicker of interest. “Okay,”
he said. “But don’t forget that drink when I
boy was certain that he was doomed, and Bill, who considered
himself an agnostic, incredulously heard himself urging
the lad to turn to some higher power.
is a power outside yourself that has overcome you,”
he urged. “Only another outside power can save you.
If you don’t want to call it God, call it truth. The
name isn’t important.”
the effect on the boy, Bill greatly impressed himself. Back
in his own room, he forgot his bargain with the doctor.
He never did collect the promised drink. Thinking of someone
else at long last, he had given the law of unselfishness
a chance to work on him. It worked so well that he lived
to become a founder of a highly effective movement in healing
Reader’s Digest, February 1964)