INFORMATION? Be encouraged 

This is a long, but good inspirational piece.

 It’ll give you something to ponder… 
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was Too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother used to talk to it. 
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person – her name was «Information Please» and there was nothing she did not know. «Information Please» could supply anybody’s number and the correct time. 
My first personal experience with this genie-in the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. 
Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn’t seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. 
The telephone! 

Quickly, I ran for the foot stool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. «Information Please,» I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. 
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. «Information» «I hurt my finger…» I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. «Isn’t your mother home?» came the question. «Nobody’s home but me.» I blubbered. «Are you bleeding?» the voice asked. «No,» I replied. «I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.» «Can you open your icebox?» she asked. I said I could. 
«Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger,» said the voice. After that, I called «Information Please» for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. 
She told me my pet chipmunk, that I had caught in the park just he day before, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary died.
 I called «Information Please» and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. I asked her, «Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?» 
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, «Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.» Somehow I felt better. 
Another day I was on the telephone. «Information Please.» «Information,» said the now familiar voice. 
«How do you spell fix?» I asked. All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. 
When I was 9 years old, we moved across the country to Boston. 
I missed my friend very much. «Information Please» belonged in that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. 
As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy. 
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, «Information, Please.» 
Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well, «Information.» I hadn’t planned this but I heard myself saying, «Could you please tell me how to spell fix?» There was a long pause. 
Then came the soft spoken answer, «I guess your finger must have healed by now.» 
I laughed. «So it’s really still you,» I said. «I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time.» «I wonder», she said, «if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls.» I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. «Please do,» she said. «Just ask for Sally.» Three months later I was back in Seattle. 
A different voice answered «Information.» I asked for Sally. «Are you a friend?» She said. «Yes, a very old friend,» I answered. «I’m sorry to have to tell you this, she said. Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.» 
Before I could hang up she said, «Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?» «Yes.» «Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.» 
The note said, «Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.» I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. Anonymous 
Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today?