When I lived on 84th Street in Manhattan, the landlady became my disciple. One day she begged me to give a short interview to a friend of hers. The interview had not been arranged beforehand. She phoned me up and said, “On your way to the Consulate, come and speak to my friend for a few minutes.”
I was already running late, so I said that in the evening I could give this man an interview. But he told my landlady that he just wanted to shake hands with me.
I lived on the fourth floor. In those days I used to go upstairs running and come downstairs running. As usual, I came running down from the fourth floor and I passed by my landlady’s apartment. Her friend was there and I smiled at him. It was a matter of two seconds. Then I continued running out of the building because I was already so late for work.
In the evening, when I came back, I asked my landlady if her friend was waiting for me. She said, “No, your smile was enough. His problem was solved. He left ten dollars for you.”
My smile took away all his suffering.