A Small Gift
As a teenager, I worked at a grocery store as a cashier in a local mall. There was a young man who walked around the mall and it didn’t look like he had any friends or family. I learned from store owners that he suffered schizophrenia and was pretty much a loner.
He was always very polite to me when he came through my register. It was around Christmas time and I saw him sitting in a coffee shop, looking very alone in the world as I bought a dozen doughnuts for a party I was attending. I walked up to him and I wished him a Merry Christmas and handed him $10.00. His entire face lit up as though I had given him gold. He was so grateful at what I thought was nothing and he thanked me profusely as though no one had ever shown him any kindness ever.
I felt very sorry for him and happy that I added some joy to his day. I learned that it is the smallest acts of kindness that matter most. I will never forget the look of pure joy on his face.
Kindness is measured by the extent of the need of the receiver. What may be objectively or even by your standard considered small may even amount to a matter of life and death for the receiver. What is important is to “be kind even to the extent of hurting yourself.”