kindness2This morning at breakfast, Dad told me about an incident from his childhood.

He grew up in the Great Depression and his family was very poor. One day, it seemed every child in the neighborhood had a bolo bat and ball (a wooden paddle with a ball attached to it by an elastic). “Nyeh, nyeh,” the kids all sang as he walked by. “Owen doesn’t have one, Owen doesn’t have one.”

Pretending not to care, he put his head down and kept walking.

A woman in his building happened to be looking out the window at that very moment. “Owen,” she called. “Can you come in here? I want to tell you something.”

When he went into her apartment, she handed him a dime and said “You go and buy yourself TWO bolo bats.”

That’s exactly what he went and did, and the triumph of that moment and the kindness of that woman remain with him to this day – 80 years later.

It made me think about the effect we can have on others. What seems like a small, almost meaningless gesture can live on in someone else’s memory for the rest of their lives. 10 cents! Two bolo bats! A lifetime’s gratitude.

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