Kate Motaung grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan before spending ten years in Cape Town, South Africa. She is married to a South African and together they have three children. Kate is the author of the e-book, Letters to Grief, hosts the Five Minute Friday blog link-up, and has contributed to several other online publications. She blogs at Heading Home and can be found on Twitter @k8motaung.
“Mommy, mommy!” my six-year-old came power-walking over to me in the library, eyes bright and waving a five-dollar bill. Doing his best to keep his voice at a library whisper, he exclaimed, all in one breath, “A guy dropped this five dollars, and I saw it, and I picked it up and gave it to him, and he said thank you and gave it back to me and said I could keep it because I was honest and kind and thoughtful!” Excitement spilled out of every word he spoke.
“Really?” I replied, a bit wary of the possibility of something like that happening, yet sure that he couldn’t have made up such an elaborate story on his own.
“Yeah, he said I could keep it because I was honest and kind and thoughtful!” he repeated with a glowing smile.
“Wow, that’s great! Well done!” I commended.
We turned the corner in the library, and my son pointed and whispered, “That’s him, Mom! The guy with the white hair! He’s the one who gave it to me!”
“Did you remember to say thank you?” I asked.
“Oh,” my son answered, suddenly remembering. He walked hesitantly over to the man and tapped his jacket.
“Thanks!” he said.
“Oh, you’re welcome,” the man replied. “Thank you for being honest like that!” Then the man went on, “You know, when I was younger, I found a five-dollar bill and gave it back to the owner. The man told me that ‘kindness pays,’ and he gave me a nickel, and I thought to myself, ‘Well, it doesn’t pay that much!’ But I think it’s important for kids to know that an honest character is a very good thing.”
“Okay!” my son nodded, after listening intently. “Bye!”
The whole encounter really struck me, and I pray that it would be impressed in my son’s memory for years to come.
It got me thinking, “How could I extend more kindness to strangers and acquaintances alike? How could I go above and beyond the normal call of duty in life to make a positive impression on others?”
What about you? In this broken world, how can you show others that kindness counts?