A Young Boy's Lesson in Kindness
--by Dragonfly88, posted Jun 11, 2011
By James David Mancini February 2011
I remember as a young boy I was living in a poor suburban neighborhood as a foster child. Lost in the system of child services and forced to spend lots of time alone. I would often wander the different neighborhoods on my own and offer to help rake a yard, mow a lawn, or wash some walls in exchange for some pocket money just to buy some school clothes or candy.
I will never forget this one time I knocked on the door of this elderly woman and asked if she needed her leaves raked in the yard. She asked why I was not in school and I showed her my torn pants and the soles of my shoes, which were worn and no longer keeping my feet warm and protected. She allowed me to work in the yard for pretty much that entire day, feeding me lunch and not saying much of anything, and when I was finished I knocked on her door and she looked at me. "I suppose you want to be paid now,"she said.
"Yes ma'am I do,"
She asked what my fee was. I had not thought about this, how much I could make, I was just excited about the opportunity, even as a small child. She said, "Well come inside," and then she reached high above the refrigerator and into the cupboard and pulled out this big jar filled with dollar bills of every denomination. My eyes could not believe it. She said, "Now you've done a fine job today and although you missed some school which is very important, that is not something you should be doing again, I want you to buy some pants and new shoes and get back in school. I also want you to come back and visit me with your report card and I will reward you when I see you have worked hard and have some good marks. Now reach in with both your little hands and take out as much as you can."
I reached in and grabbed so much money I could not believe it for myself. It was enough for me to buy those shoes I needed, two pairs of pants, and also a new shirt. I returned several times to see the woman in the corner house and yes she did just as she promised. She looked at my report card and gave me a handful of dollars and a sandwich every time I showed her I had an "A" or "B", and over the next couple of years she continued to be this positive influence in my life as brief as it was and I never knew her name.
I was twelve years old when I moved from that neighborhood into a different home, with yet another family. I will of course never forget the huge difference this wonderful stranger made over my life with her generosity and kindness; this is something I hope to do myself in this lifetime over and over again.
May god be with you always.
Hugs flipper :)