A young cook working in the back of the restaurant heard the conversation, jumped in, pulled out his own credit card, and paid for the man’s dinner. Of course the business man thanked him profusely. Then was on his way. That could have been the end of the story. But….
A couple of months later, the man gathered a number a people including the cook’s parents at the restaurant to honor the generosity of this young man. He thanked him again and gave him a $50 gift certificate, saying I just wanted to say “don’t stop being a good guy.”
People are good. I know we hear about shootings and looting and gang issues and hate-filled political rhetoric, but mostly, overwhelmingly? People are good. Remember that you are one of those good people. We're not supposed to hold that inside so no one knows we are good and wish good things for others. We are supposed to act on the needs we see.
A little encouragement goes a long way. A smile can relieve someone’s fears. Just holding the door for a person might be proof to them that at least at that moment they matter to someone.
We say “use your words!” to children who are crying for something and we can’t understand them. We expect them to help us out a little—let us know what the problem is. But when it comes to adults, we might have to ask in a better way. “What can I do to help?” “Can I give you a ride?” “Have you eaten today?” “Do you have a place to sleep?” “Do you need something?”
Think hard about all those who have helped you with encouragement, money, love, time, food, or support of some kind. Now look around and see how you can keep the chain going. People fall off the tracks sometimes. Some are born off the tracks. Hopefully, the rest of us won’t just walk by and let them get run over. It is a way to remember to thank those who have helped us along the way. Because every day is payback time.