How we see life has a big impact on those around us, although we usually don’t realize it. Of course, everyone has their own battles to fight and we can get so caught up in our own drama that we forget to pay attention to the people around us. Usually, these people are strangers. The homeless man who sits outside of the 7/11, the little boy who always seems to be dirty no matter what time of day it is, or even just a random person on the bus furiously texting someone. When we stop to care about those around us, we can learn a lot about ourselves – not just them.
A friend of mine named Paul received an automobile from his brother as a birthday present. The next day when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. “Is this your car, Mister?” he asked.
Paul nodded. “My brother gave it to me for my birthday.” The boy was astounded. “You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn’t cost you nothing? Boy, I wish …” He hesitated.
Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.
“I wish,” the boy went on, “that I could be a brother like that.”
Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, “would you like to take a ride in it? I’ve been meaning to test it out.”
“Oh yes, I’d love that!”
After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, “Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?”
Paul smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Paul was wrong again. “Will you stop where those two steps are?” the boy asked.
He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother.
He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car.
“There she is, Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for his birthday and it didn’t cost him a cent. And some day I’m gonna give you one just like it … then you can see for yourself all the pretty things that I’ve been trying to tell you about.”
Paul got out and lifted the lad to the front seat of his car. The shining eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.
That day, Paul learned what “It is more blessed to give” meant.
This man gave these brothers something that they will never forget! Maybe one day the older brother will become successful as well and finally be able to do something nice for his little brother. Maybe he’ll always remember “that ride in the fancy car” to keep him motivated to succeed. But I can guarantee that the person who will never forget this experience is the man who gave these little boys a ride in his car for just a few spins around the block. He learned more about himself that day than he did about those two little boys, and it changed his life.
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