Stories of Kindness from Around the World

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. 

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Readers Comments

RMB333 wrote: So touching. So beautiful! The kindness showered on you by that lady has made such an impact on you, certainly you will pass it down the line. 'textyourdreams'(tyd) post compliments yours well! Thanks a million foe sharing. Endless blessings for the elderly ladies and untold blessings for you, not forgetting tyd too!
textyourdreams wrote: Your story reminds me of a lady i met at church only known to me as grandma oxley. She lived in the back of a flower shop of a small town i grew up in. After school each day, i would visit her because she always gave me candy. But she also sat me down and shared with me a story or two. I didn't quite get it then, but each story was of somebody doing something nice. Those stories are over 50 years old now and i still remember them. Thanks for bringing up the kind memories for me. You are lucky to have a person like this in you life. I know i was.
gelai wrote: Thank you so much for your sharing to us your inspiring story! It really inspires me a lot to become a positive person.

May god be with you always.

Best regards,

moral12 wrote: What a wonderful, caring woman you were fortunate to meet. Thanks for sharing your story.
Flipper wrote: It is people like this that you never forget. Thank you for the inspiration story from your past!

Hugs flipper :)
madzick wrote: You did a very good job there. And i believe this woman is still waiting you. Are you still visiting her?
Catnap wrote: Wow. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank-you so much for sharing!
thebigkind wrote: Good things do happen. I'm glad you were able to get that help when you really needed it. She was an angel, and not only did she give you that gift, her compassion has allowed you to reach into your own heart and pay it forward. Love and blessings to you.
Bluebell wrote: Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of loving kindness. I am sure that life will give you many magical and beautiful ways to pay it forward. Love and Light and a Thousand Smiles, Bluebell
unknown wrote: Your sharing inspirational stories is doing a lot of good dragonfly. God bless. :):)

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