In the story “An Angel in Disguise”, how has the author shown that selflessness and compassion bring happiness not only for others but also for oneself?
Or, Good comes to people who do good. — How did the goodness shown by Joe Thompson result in chain reaction of goodness in the story “An Angel in Disguise” by T S Arthur?
T. S. Arthur’s story “An Angel in Disguise” is all about a little orphan girl called Maggie, Joe Thompson’s compassion for the child and the joy and happiness she brings to the childless Thompson family.
The little poor girl Maggie was left alone when her mother died keeping behind her three children in the hands of their fate. Though two villagers agreed to take John and Kate, no one showed any interest in Maggie, as she had been sick and bed-ridden for two years due to a fall from a window.
Everyone suggested to take her to the poorhouse, but none cared to take the initiative. Joe Thompson was the only man who couldn’t go home leaving the poor girl alone. He said to the blacksmith’s wife —
“It’s a cruel thing to leave her so.”
The blacksmith’s wife suggested Joe to take her to the poorhouse and waited no longer. A vague terror had come into Maggie’s thin white face just when she called out —
“O, Mr. Thompson! don’t leave me here all alone!”
Joe had some tender spots in his heart in spite of his rough exterior. He couldn’t reject the plea of the little sick girl. He went to her and said —
“No, dear, You sha’n’t be left here alone.”
Then he took her home lifting her in her arms overcoming the fears of how his ‘vinegar-tempered wife’ might react on seeing her. Not only that, afterwards he convinced his wife to treat the child with tenderness.
Thompson gave a whole new life to the girl, no doubt. It was a great example of selflessness and compassion from Joe Thompson. And we know that good happens to people who do good. Interestingly, Joe also knew and believed in the same theory. That’s why he said —
… whoever gave them even a cup of cold water should not go unrewarded … to be kind to her for a single night; to make her life comfortable for a single night.
And we see, Thompson’s good work didn’t go in vain. Though initially his wife was not so happy with the child, gradually she developed a soft corner for her. Maggie’s sweetness, her look of love, patience and gratitude was like “honey to her soul”. The girl melted her heart which was stoned for so many years in the absence of a child in the family. The loneliness of Jane Thompson made her short-tempered and irritable, but Maggie’s love now awoke the human feelings slumbering in her heart. The child brought joy and happiness to the whole family.
This only emphasizes that virtues like selflessness and compassion bring happiness not only for others but also for oneself.