a gift for two
December 20, 2006 11:29pm CST
"You never know what happiness a simple act of kindness will bring about..." It was a beautiful da for sightseeing around downtown Portland. We were a bunch of counselors on our day off, away from the campers, just out for some fun. The weather was perfect for a picnic, so when lunch time came, we set our sights on a small park in town. Since we all had diffirent cravings, we decided to split up, get what each of us wanted, and meet back on the grass in a few minutes. When my friend Robby headed for a hotdog stand, I decided to keep her company. We watched the vendor put together the perfect hotdog, just the way Robby wanted it. But when she took out her money to pay him, the man surprised us. "It looks a little on the cool side," he said, "so never mind paying me. This will be my freebie of the day." We said our thanks, joined our friends in the park, and dig into our food. But as we talked and ate, I was distracted by a man sitting alone nearby, looking at us. I could tell that he hadnt showered for days. Another homeless person, I thought, like all the others you see in cities. I didnt pay much mre attention than that. We finished eating and decided to head off for more sightseeing. But when Robby and I went to the garbage can to throw away my lunch bag, I heard a strng voice ask, "There isnt any food in that bag, is there?" It was the man who had been watching us. I didnt know what to say. "No, I ate it already." "Oh", was his only answer, with no shame in his voice at all. He was obviously hungry, couldnt bear to see anything thrown away, and was used to asking this question. I felt bad for the man, but I didn know what I could do. Thats when Rbby said "I'll be right back. Please wait for me a minute," and ran off. I watched curiously as she went across to the hotdog stand. Then I realized what she was doing. She bought a hotdog, crossed back to the trash can, and gave the hungy man the food. When she came back to us, Robby said simply, "I was just passing on the kindness that someone gave to me." That day I learned how generosity can go farther than the person you give to. By giving, you teach others how to give also.
• United States
21 Dec 06
That is a great story. It is so true that by giving you teach others how to give also. I always try to perform at least one random act of kindness every day. I don't go for the big gestures because sometimes the smallest ones are the ones that mean the most. I know that I always feel great when someone does something nice for me and I feel even better when I pass that generosity along to someone else. I think it would be great if everyone decided to do that. What a marvelous different it would make in this world.