Today my kid wasn’t feeling well. He asked me to come home from school early, and I said yes. I decided to take him to lunch, and on the way home, we stopped to drive through the car wash. As we left, he saw this woman pushing her cart along the street. He said to me, ‘Ma, did you see that? She’s wearing baseball cleats as shoes. I just wish I made enough money to be able to buy a pair of comfortable shoes for everyone I see that doesn’t have shoes. She literally walks all over every day, and that’s what she’s walking in. Baseball cleats.
We drove down a block to Ross, and he went inside. He carefully thought out what he’d get. He wanted the most comfortable and the longest lasting shoes that would keep her warm too. He chose two pairs: athletic shoes and also boots for the winter, along with a six-pack of socks all for this woman he had never met. We drove back to find her, and he got out of the car to give her this gift. I had no intention of taking a picture, but I was holding my phone as I saw her reach up to hug him. It choked me up, and I couldn’t miss that moment. I opened the camera as quickly as I could and captured it. It brought tears to my eyes as he then helped her take off the tags and put them on. He quietly got back into the car, and he sat there for a minute or so. When he looked over at me, he said, ‘Ma, today is her birthday. She was so happy.’
The Universe works in mysterious ways. He had a rough day and wasn’t feeling great, but this simple act of selflessness turned it all around. It put things in perspective for him and for me, too. Lots of little things fell into place to make this happen at just the right time. He didn’t ask questions, judge her or talk negatively about her situation. He simply cared. He didn’t freak out when this woman reached up to hug him. He hugged her back tighter.
We need more of this in the world, especially now when there’s so much turmoil. Take this example and use it. I challenge everyone to love a stranger with the innocence of a child. Show compassion and give what you can. It doesn’t have to be a lot. This kid goes to school, plays football and works six hours per week. He took basically one week of his pay and unknowingly made this beautiful lady’s birthday special – all because he cared.
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