This writing is from my latest book--Thoughts from the Heart. So appropriate for a Christmas Day Message:
Pay It Forward With Kindness
Last weekend I received an email from a dear friend telling me a story of a boy she met a long time ago. She has always volunteered her time in children shelters as she has such a soft heart for misplaced children. She has six of her own. As she told me of Kyle, who was a regular there for over five or six years, tears came to my eyes.
Kyle was born with two parents who should have loved him but didn’t. They were abusive and decided to put him up for adoption at a young age. Luckily at seven years old he was adopted by a couple who said they wanted Kyle but after a few days decided they didn’t want a child that wasn’t “theirs” and the abuse continued. He went back to the shelter at 12 and stayed there until he was old enough to get on his own at 18. My friend took him home from time to time for a weekend break and then brought him back hoping someone would take him home permanently.
Unfortunate for Kyle, he had no place to go after being on his own and slept in abandoned houses or cars until the he was arrested for sleeping in the wrong car. He is spending 18 months in jail but has made a way for himself there. He washes the cars for the sheriff’s department and feels trusted. He is so grateful for the job.
As my friend says, “This young man, now almost 21, was thrown away by his parents when he was a young child, lived in foster homes and a shelter, and has never felt unconditional love.” Yet when he feels trusted by someone, anyone, it means so much to him.
We never know what pain someone is feeling. We never know what someone is going through in life. A smile, a kind word, or even a compliment when standing in line at Walmart or McDonald’s may be what someone needs to get them through the rest of their day. I think we have all been recipients of someone’s kind words and smiles and those unknown angels will never know how much they have touched a life. As Kyle continues to serve his time and learn that being trusted is a great privileged, he can learn to be a contributing citizen to his community and help himself. There are many Kyles out there trying to find a place in life for themselves.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” With all the failing markets and financial institutions we hear about today, the best we can do for each other is be kind. Pay if forward with kindness and a smile because you never know what will help another person who is truly in need.
Merry Christmas to all.....and to all a good night. Pay it forward with kindness.