Let’s Walk Through the Garden Again

Let’s Walk Through the Garden Again

From A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Let’s Walk Through the Garden Again

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am a public speaker who teaches fellow Canadians creative ways to buy real estate. One of my very first graduates, a policeman named Roy, used my ideas in a most touching way.

The story begins years before Roy attended my course. On his regular rounds, he was in the habit of dropping in on an elderly gentleman who lived in a breathtaking 5,000-square-foot mansion overlooking a ravine. The older man had lived there most of his life and cherished the view, the many mature trees and the creek.

When Roy would check in on him, once or twice a week, the old man would offer him tea and they would sit and chat or stroll for a few minutes through the garden. One such visit was sad. The older man tearfully admitted that his health was failing and he had to sell his beautiful home and move into a nursing home.

By this time, Roy had taken my course and came up with the crazy idea that he might be able to use the creativity of my course to figure out how to buy this mansion.

The man wanted $300,000 for his home, which had no mortgage. Roy had only $3,000 in savings. Roy was paying $500 in rent at the time and he had a reasonable policeman’s salary. It seemed insurmountable to come up with a plan to create a deal between the man and the hopeful policeman . . . insurmountable until you take into account the power of love.

Roy remembered the words of my course—to find out what the vendor truly wants and give it to him. After delving as deeply as he could, Roy finally found the key. What the man was going to miss the most was walking through his garden.

Roy blurted out: “If you let me buy your house, somehow, I promise to pick you up one or two Sundays a month, bring you back here to your garden and let you sit here and stroll around it with me, like old times.”

The old man smiled in wonder and love. The old man told Roy to write up whatever offer seemed fair and he’d sign it. Roy offered all he could afford. The purchase price was $300,000. The downpayment was $3,000. The vendor took back a $297,000 first mortgage bearing interest at $500 a month. The old man was so happy that, as a present, he let Roy have all the antique furniture in the whole house, including a baby grand piano.

As amazed as Roy was at his incredible financial victory, the real winner was the happy old man and the relationship that the two of them shared.

Raymond L. Aaron

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