“Oh! If people knew what a comfort to a horse a light hand is…” – Anna Sewell
Mom and I were drinking coffee at our local McDonalds a few days ago. As my mom talked, I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. Behind her were three people. Two kids about 10 years old and one man who looked to be about forty. They were discussing a computer game they all play. I scoff and whisper to my mom what I see.
She disregards them and goes to refill her coffee. At the same time, one of the boys goes to fill up his soda cup as well.
Without looking, I intently listen to the boy and the man’s conversation. The boy asks why the man’s only drinking a cup of ice water. He says it’s all he could afford. I look at them now.
I see the boy looking engrossed at the man. Suddenly, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out twenty dollars. The boy hands this to the man and tells him to buy whatever he wants.
The man, shocked, asks why the boy’s giving him this money. Did he steal it? Is it really his? Why? The boy shrugs. You’re hungry, he states obviously. It’s my allowance. You don’t have money. I do. Just buy whatever you want, but give me the change back.
The man takes the twenty with a trembling hand.
I glare at the man as he makes his way to the register. Would he use the boy to his advantage?
He comes back with large fries, and a large drink (which only costs $1 during the summer) and gives the change back to the boy. The boy, without second glance, says why didn’t you buy a burger? Buy a burger. The man shakes his head and says this is enough and he couldn’t have asked for more. He says thank you. Those two words couldn’t be more generous and sincere.
I look away, ashamed. I judged both times without a second’s thought. Both times I was proven wrong.
The other boy comes back and discreetly shakes his friends hand. They did a good deed.
As I left, they keep talking about the computer game.
They’re the same, but I’m not. Maybe, I’ll be the one to extend my hand one day. Not to judge so quick. To see and act with only love.
A small lesson to learn from an unexpected situation.