A Simple Act of Kindness Thirty Years Later

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
— Aesop

If you are like me you find the following question somewhat of a waste of mental energy. “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I have a better question for you. “If a good and simple act of kindness is done and is not heralded by the doer, is it still good?” Yes, yes, and yes! I think it is the best kind of giving because it is done out of the purest of motives.

When we give to receive, the gift is somewhat tainted. When we give because there is a need and seek nothing in return, we receive more than we give. The dividends keep coming. The story I am about to share with you is an example of giving to someone who couldn’t give in return. Someone familiar with the story told me the details of a simple of act of kindness done years ago.

Allow me to editorialize first. Seniors are easy to overlook, as society and the church are often guilty of doing. However, there are a few who do the work that many of us could be doing. The following is an account of one man who stepped up to meet a need. As I remember the story as it was told to me, it went something like this.

An older woman contacted a young man she knew, asking for his help in fixing her toilet. He happily agreed, but upon further investigation, he determined that the toilet could not be fixed. He replaced her toilet without any charge. From that simple act of kindness a business was blessed by God. Some thirty years later, the business is one of the largest privately owned companies of its kind.

I believe there is a divine gift placed within us. The gift is the need to be needed. There are many ways of attempting to satisfy that need, but none are better than helping others who can’t help us in return. Although, I am writing this to stir you to seek opportunities to help a senior, you don’t have to stop there. Pay for someone’s order behind you in the Starbuck’s drive-up. Tell the cashier that you will pay for the few items of the person in front of you in line at the checkout. Write a note of encouragement and don’t sign it.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries