Saturday, April 17, 2010

One Good Deed

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I've been a cynical person for as long as I can remember. I don't expect the best out of people and I'm usually not disappointed. The news we hear nowadays is mostly bad and doesn't surprise me in the least. What does surprise me, in a positive way, is the occasional good news I hear and those rare occasions when I actually witness something inspiring and uplifting in person. To kick the weekend off right, I'd like to tell you about a couple of things I've seen.

The first happened about a week ago. My wife and I were at a local Steak-n-Shake and I noticed a girl about 7 or 8 years old. She made several trips to the coin-operated claw machine before she was able to win a stuffed animal. She walked back to her table and sat down. She then turned and handed the toy to a little girl, about 3 or 4, who was sitting with her mother in a booth next to her. No second thoughts, no questions asked, just here you go. The fact that the older girl was white and the younger girl was black shouldn't be relevant, but for someone to be kind, generous and color blind at that young age really shows that there's hope for this world yet.

The other one was several years ago. I was at a club on the beach a couple of nights in a row one weekend, and each night I was there I couldn't help but notice another guy that was also there. His name was Patrick, and he was visiting from Ireland with his family. I couldn't help but notice him because he was the life of the party, having a great time and in the process helping everyone else have a great time as well.

One of the main reasons Patrick was having such a good time was because of the lead singer of the band that was performing at the club. Because of her, Patrick was made to feel at home and allowed to be himself and let loose. His personality came through and made everyone in the club smile. It didn't matter one bit that he had Down's Syndrome, especially to the the lead singer of the band that showed him such a great time.

Did I get the story right, Brenda?

Now it's your turn. I want to hear about a personal experience that had a strong positive effect on you.


SIS BJ said...


Thank you for sharing those wonderful experiences. I will be back later with some of my own. Off to the mall with my girls. Maybe I will witness some random acts of kindness there.

Tori Lennox said...

How sad is it that I'm drawing a complete blank. Oh wait! Something that was done for me. Many years ago I worked at the University of Tennessee in Memphis in the admissions office. My coworkers knew I had a hard time struggling to live alone on my salary. So they were always surprising me with things they'd buy in bulk like giant jars of Peter Pan peanut butter and other grocery type things. If not for them, I probably would have starved to death. :)

Sisters-in-Sync said...


Thanks for bringing tears to my eyes! I remember Patrick well and think of him often. To me, he was an inspiration. He wasn't a guy with Down's Syndrome...he was, as you said, the life of the party. I had such a great time with him and every year looked forward to his return. His family just stopped coming one year, and I've always wondered how he's doing.

My personal experience? My husband and I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. We were sightseeing and couldn't catch a cab back to the ship so we got a ride from some random stranger. (My husband assured me he could take him if need be). We talked with him as he told how he was out of work and trying to support a large family and was giving people rides as a way to earn money.

He took us to the boat and we paid him and thanked him and watched him drive away. It wasn't until we were boarding the ship that I realized I had left my extremely expensive camera and lenses (not to mention it had all the photos of our vacation on it) in the man's car.

We had no way of contacting him, we only knew his first name. We went to the taxi stand and started asking all of the drivers if they knew a tall, thin, black man by the name of John? They said we had just described every guy on the island. We just knew our camera was gone.

We went back to the room and I boo-hooed a while and then we went to the concierge desk to ask a question about something else. While there, I thought I'd take a chance and see if anyone had turned in a camera. They said they thought there might be one in the back.

The clerk went to the back, and returned with my camera in her hands. I boo-hooed some more. I couldn't believe that this man, who was so poor and trying to support so many people, actually drove all the way back to the ship and returned my camera when he probably could have pawned it for food money! What a great guy! We tried to contact him to no avail, but I will always remember his kindness.

And I will always remember your kindness, Krys, in remembering me and Patrick and the fun times we had!

SIS Bren

Chris Behrens said...

Tori - What a great heartwarming story! I wish there were more people like that.

Brenda - Patrick was one in a million, and the way you two played off of each other was priceless! I have a lot of great memories from back then, but that one was one of the best! I think I still owe you payback for some of the zingers you got me with though...

Tori Lennox said...

That's an awesome story, Bren!!!

Beth Ciotta said...

Krys, thanks for sharing such wonderful stories.

Tori, yours was heartwarming as well!

Brenda, I've always loved your camera story! Priceless!

This isn't a huge thing, but it definitely caught my attention. Yesterday, I was coming out of the convenience store. There were two entry ways and maybe six customers, including me, going either in or out. Every single person (man and woman) stopped to hold the door open for someone else. For a moment no one moved because we were all waiting for another person to go first. Rarely do you see that kind of courtesy anymore, let alone en mass! Sometimes it's the small things....

SIS Beth

Chris Behrens said...


I've seen that kind of thing happen once or twice in a row, but never that many times!

Elle J Rossi said...

Hi all,

Timely post. Lar and I just watched Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. What a wonderful movie. I absolutely loved it. It just goes to show that you should never judge based on looks, attitude or anything else. There may be a reason behind someone's sour attitude. It takes one person tos how some kindness. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a treasure beneath all the gruff!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Alyson Reuben said...

Wow, what wonderfully inspiring stories, Chris, Bren, Tori, and Beth!

One such occasion that pops in my head is 15 years ago, back when I left my purse at a visitors center in Tennessee. We were a mile or two down the interstate before I even realized it was missing. I was sure it'd be long gone by the time we turned around and went back. However, just as I arrived, a woman was handing my purse over to the person behind the information desk. Absolutely nothing was missing from it. At nineteen, I didn't use any credit cards, so it was stuffed with all my cash for the trip. A thief would've had a field-day. Miraculously, this woman was an honest one who received my weeping thanks with grace and dignity. I'll always be grateful to her.

Here in my small town, people tend to be very relaxed. Situations, such as people letting others go ahead of them in the store checkout line when they have an overloaded cart and the other person only has one or two items, is the norm. Also, neighbors who take the time to check on each other is common. Shame on me, but I don't always think about how considerate these gestures are, so thanks for reminding me, Chris and SIS.

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