By the end of Nido Qubein’s (my coauthor on “Life Balance the Sufi Way”) sophomore year at Mount Olive College, he had managed to save $375 in an effort to buy a car. However, the cheapest one he could find cost $750. Although disappointed, he was not discouraged. He knew that if he could just save a little more he would eventually buy a car. He shared his story with Verta Lawhon, his housemother, and a great listener. She herself of little financial means only making $100 a month from Social Security, and receiving $100 a month more from the college for serving as mother-in-residence. At the end of that month, Nido received his bank statement which, to his surprise, reflected a balance of $750, when it should have read only $375.
He told Miss Lawhon about it, thinking that perhaps the bank had incorrectly deposited an amount into the wrong account. Or had it? Could it be that this woman, making only $200 a month, had contributed $400 to a struggling student to buy a car? She had indeed! She explained: “I’ve decided it’s much better for me to invest my money in the life of a budding young man than to park it in my savings account.”
That was a huge turning point for Nido. Miss Lawhon taught him about sacrifice and generosity. Nido has since given multi-millions of dollars to charity. He is the President of High Point University and serves on the boards of several national organizations, including BB&T (a Fortune 500 company with $185 billion in assets).
For Nido, it all started with a single act of giving by someone who cared!