The greatest deeds are sometimes the ones that we don’t even realize are happening. And it’s true. The majority of people’s good deeds go unnoticed unless someone finds out somehow and decides to tell the story. With the ease of social media, it’s easier for this to happen. Sometimes, it’s just a stranger snapping a photo of someone doing something nice. Sometimes, it’s a person who is thanking a “kind stranger” for something they did. These stories are meant to be inspiring. Sure, you might thank the person who did something kind for you earlier that day – but that’s not why they did it. In this story, that sentiment is all too true.
My boss drove a luxury car every day and it was my duty to greet him and to open the gates for him, as I worked as a watchman in his villa. But he never responded to my greetings. I would try to talk to him as he drove past, but never did more than look up and me and give me a half-smile, and sometimes only a nod.
One day he saw me opening the garbage bags outside the villa in search for leftover food. But, as usual he never spoke to me, even after I sheepishly said “good afternoon” and stepped away from the bin. It was as if he never saw anything.
I was embarrassed about my boss seeing me go through his garbage, but the truth was that there just wasn’t enough at the end of my paycheck to purchase enough groceries every week. My employer’s kitchen tossed out a lot of food every day, and it was always placed in plastic bags instead of just dumped into the trash cans. I resumed my rummaging, but was a lot more careful about when I tried to find food.
A few days after, I had forgotten about being caught. Needing to feed the kids outweighed a little bit of embarrassment. That’s when I noticed that the kitchen started using brown paper bags to toss out their food, and instead of leaving the food in the bin, they would just leave it on the curb. The food inside was always covered well. It was fresh and good food – like someone had just bought it from the supermarket. I didn’t bother to ask why the kitchen was suddenly packaging their leftovers, I just took the paper bag and I was happy about it.
Every day I found this paper bag at the same place with fresh vegetables and all that we needed for home. This became my daily routine. I was eating and sharing this food with my wife and kids – after cooking it thoroughly.
One day there was a big commotion in the villa and I was told that my boss has died. There were too many guests coming to the villa and I didn’t get any food that day. I thought that one of the guests may have taken it. But the same thing happened the 2nd day, the 3rd day and the 4th day.
It went on like this for a few weeks and I found it difficult to provide food for my family. I assumed that the kitchen had re-assessed its budget once my boss had died. I decided to ask the wife of my boss for a raise in my salary or else I would quit my job as a watchman.
After I told her, she was shocked, and asked me why I had never complained in the years I had been working for them. I had been given a raise 2 years prior, and the rate was competitive at the time.
I gave her so many excuses, but she was never convinced. Finally, I decided that I needed to put my pride aside and tell her the truth. I told her the entire story of the bag of groceries, and how it was my daily provision. She then asked me when it stopped. I didn’t want to admit it, but I told her that it was after the death of her husband, when the kitchen began to stop leaving as many leftovers.
At her look of utter confusion, I realized that I stopped seeing the paper bag immediately after the death of my boss.
Why didn’t I ever think of this before? That it was my boss who was providing this for me. I guess it was because I never thought that a person who never replied to my greetings could ever be this generous.
His wife started to cry and I interrupted her. I told her that I was sorry that I asked for a raise – I didn’t know that it was her husband who was providing me with the meals. I could make do – I could get a second job. I realized how much I owed to the man who had never spoken a word to me. I would remain as a watchman and be happy to provide my service.
His wife told me that her tears were from finally finding “the 7th person.” She explained that her husband was giving food to 7 people every day, and she had already found 6 people who received a bag of groceries, neatly packaged each afternoon. She felt as though he was telling her to continue his work, as she had started to give the other 6 a bag of groceries as well.
From that day on, I started to receive the bag full of food again, but this time it was his son bringing the groceries to me. Whenever I thanked him, he never replied, he only looked at me and smiled. My heart sank a little – this was how his father behaved as well.
One day, I told him “THANK YOU” in a very loud voice because it was windy outside, and whether or not he would respond, I would still try. He looked up at me, shocked. He explained that he was hard of hearing – a trait passed down from his father.
Who doesn’t love a good cry? This story made me think about my own grandpa who used to do things just like this. It wasn’t until several months after his death that we realized what he had been up to. His garage was full of care packages for the homeless and warm coats. I had noticed that he always had extra jackets in the back of his car, but he would always brush off my questions with, “what if I get stranded in the cold? Don’t want to freeze to death!” He had been handing them out to anyone in need – and no one ever got the truly thank him for all the good he had been doing. That wasn’t why he did it.
To see more inspiring articles and uplifting content, check out Happy Tango every day! If you loved what you saw here then like and share this with the links below!