The Old Clock Shop

The Old Clock Shop

This lesson demonstrates how being honest and correct can help you win in any situation. Even robbers can be handled correctly using these methods. Mr. Ray not only protected himself, but also showed the robbers the right path. It conveys a message of peace and well-being for all.

It was Christmas Eve, and stores were closing. Ray, the owner of an antique clock shop, was still working on a clock. Ray's shop was entered by two men, one in his twenties and one in his fifties. Ray handed them a notepad and a pencil, telling them in sign language that he was deaf and dumb. Ray noticed the man was carrying a gun in his pocket. He mistook him for a robber when he came to his shop. Ray informed the old man that he exchanged large sums of money with people in exchange for their watches or wall clocks, recognising their desperate need for funds. He did this out of goodwill, not to earn interest or security against the items.
Ray offered the old man a fifty dollar bill in exchange for his old wrist watch. They both knew in their hearts that the watch was not that expensive. But this made the man happy because he got money without hurting Ray, and Ray avoided being hurt as well. Before leaving, the old man told Ray that he would return soon to collect his watch. The story ended peacefully, with the simple message of "peace on earth and goodwill toward all."

CHRISTMAS Eve had arrived. As last-minute shoppers were going home, a thick, white sheet of snow lay over Salt Lake City, USA. Yet the lights were still burning in the old-clock shop, as Ray, its old, deaf owner, worked on a clock he had sold that day.

It was Christmas Eve, and it was time to close the stores in Salt Lake City, USA. However, Ray's shop lights were turned on because he was repairing a clock that he had sold. Ray, the shop's owner, was elderly and deaf.

Having finished his work, Ray stood up and was on his way to the back room when a cold rush of air from the front door hit the back of his neck.

When Ray got up after finishing his work, a cold wave of air from the front door touched his neck.

He turned to meet a last-minute shopper, but his old, wise eyes told him that this was not a shopper. He saw two men, one in his twenties, the other closer to fifty. The younger man remained at the door. The older man approached the counter with no sign of friendliness in his eyes. Ray was able to hide his growing fear as he slowly pushed a notepad and a pencil across the counter.

He turned to face the shopper who had came to his store at the last minute. However, as a wise and experienced individual, he noticed that they were not shoppers. He noticed two men, one young and the other middle-aged. The younger man came to a halt at the door, while the middle-aged man approached the counter. His eyes mirrored the cruelty in his heart. Ray, on the other hand, wisely concealed his fear and slowly pushed a notepad and a pencil towards them.

He smiled at the unfriendly face, then pointed to his ears and shook his head from side to side. A quick look of surprise changed the man’s face as he studied the notepad, then turned and said something to his friend.

The information on the notepad caused a change in man's expression. He smiled and then told the other man that he (the shopkeeper) was deaf by pointing to his ears and shaking his head from one side to the other.

Ray used the chance to look closely at the man, paying attention to the shape of a gun and a restless hand in the man’s right coat-pocket. Anger boiled within him, but it was kept down by an inner voice that said, “Be still.” He wrote on the notepad, “May I help you?” For the first time the older man looked directly at Ray and smiled. A cruel, mocking smile. They both understood why he was there, why his friend remained at the door. They looked like men who were down on their luck, and were now ready to try something they would later be sorry about.

Ray had some time to look at the man and examine him closely, noting the shape of the gun and his hand movement in his coat's right pocket. Ray was angered on the inside, but his wisdom told him to calm down and be still. He approached the man writing on the notepad and asked if he could assist him. With that, the man turned to Ray and smiled. It was a cruel smile, as if he was mocking something. They realised why they were in the shop and why there was only one man standing outside the door. Ray saw them as unlucky people who were attempting something for which they could later repent.

The clocks ticked on. Ray calmly wrote another message. “Have you come to pick up a clock or watch?” Then he pointed to the ‘loan’ board filled with hanging clocks and pocket watches. He was not a pawnbroker, but at the same time couldn’t say ‘No’ to the needy people who placed their old watches or clocks before him for anything they could get. He loaned more than he should. They would be there when the owners wanted them back … at the same price he had paid, with no interest.

Ray had a gut feeling that these visitors were in need of money. Ray quietly inquired, writing a message, if they had come to steal a clock or a watch. Ray also pointed to the Loan Board, which was filled with hanging clocks and pocket watches, to tell them that he gave money as a loan in exchange for people's old watches and clocks. He was not the type of person who gave money to others in exchange for security or interest. Ray, on the other hand, did everything he could to help those in need. It was due to his helpful and kind nature.

Then the older man seemed to feel a little easier, took out his hand from his pocket and quickly looked at the watch on his wrist. “How much will you give me for this?” the man wrote.

This made the older gentleman feel at ease. He looked at his wristwatch and asked Ray what he could offer him for it.

Ray noticed a little shame in the grey eyes looking at him. The watch was nothing special and yet had great powers. It was something to exchange, a way out of a bad situation. Knowing that great need had brought the man to his shop in the first place, Ray asked, “How much do you need for it?” The reply came back on the notepad: “Whatever it’s worth.”

Ray had the impression that the man was embarrassed. The watch wasn't particularly valuable, but it was special because it allowed Ray to turn a bad situation around and safely escape. Ray, realising that man's need and helplessness, which was causing him to commit such a heinous crime, asked him what his need was. The man responded to Ray by writing on the pad that he should pay whatever the watch was worth.

Ray reached into his cash-box, pulled out a fifty-dollar note and passed it into the man’s hand. As they shook hands, Ray looked into the man’s eyes; they seemed to say, “Thank you!” They both knew the watch wasn’t worth that much. Before turning to leave, the man wrote, “I will be back to pick it up as soon as I can. Merry Christmas!”

Ray reached into his cash box and pulled out a fifty-dollar bill. He presented it to the man. It made him very happy. The man expressed his appreciation. They were both aware that the watch was not that expensive. Before leaving, the man stated that he would return to collect his watch as soon as possible and wished everyone a Merry Christmas!

The little story ended on the half hour with the clocks striking all together. The timepieces, which had been looking on silently all the while, rang out the time with such feeling that even Ray thought he could hear them. Their sweet, musical message was filled with hope. The timeless message of ‘Peace on earth, goodwill towards all’ was felt by the three men who stood in the old-clock shop.

The short storey came to an end with the clocks on the half-hour. They all happened to be there at the same time, witnessing the entire incident. Their musically striking bells created music that conveyed a message of hope and peace. The music was so sweet and powerful that it seemed as if Ray's deaf ears could feel it as well. Everyone felt the sweet and hopeful message of goodwill toward others and peace on Earth. As the old clocks chime Merry Christmas, the message of peace and goodwill spreads throughout the world.