Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.


I was in line to buy snacks for our family and forgot to take the ticket. Others arriving after me took the ticket to be served, and I thought- ”Maybe it isn’t necessary.” – I was wrong, but it occurred to me to make an experience.

When I realized the waitress was asking for the tickets, I picked up mine and went to the end of the line. I don’t know what people thought, but I was testing their generosity. All of them knew I was first, but none exchanged their ticket with me and completely disregarded whether I forgot or not to take the ticket.

Most people fail to see the opportunity of being generous when it’s in front of them. Instead of acting upon what they knew was right, they justify their actions with a ticket. The couple behind me entered at the same time, took a ticket and never warned me I should have one too. They knew and looked at the other side.

When my turn came, now with the ticket in hand, I asked for two menus of orange juice and a croissant. I didn’t know, but these menus included a free coffee, which we wouldn’t take. That’s when I decided to exercise the human trait I was looking for and ask a couple if I could offer them our two coffees. They smiled and accepted. They were happy, and so was I.

If the opportunity for being generous is right there in front of you, don’t turn your back. Cease it with all your heart. Others will experience happiness as well as you, and it is a simple way of making the world a better place.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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