I’ve been let down by people many times in life. The irony is that oftentimes it’s the little guy or so-called misfit that makes the biggest impact and follows through. When my son was five or six years old, we traveled to North Carolina. While we were there we stopped at a small carnival. I paid for my son to play a game of trying to get a handful of small rings onto the top of a bottle. He was so disappointed because he couldn’t get a ring to fit. I told my son it was time to move on because I couldn’t continue to pay for the game.
As we were leaving the man in charge of the game told us to come back. He gave my son more rings for free and let him play until he won a prize. The carnival worker had the appearance of someone who might have been experiencing homelessness. But his actions of kindness still have a positive emotional impact on my son to this very day. He’s now 16 years old and still holds on to the same stuffed animal he won when he was a small child. He never forgot the kindness that nice gentleman showed him that day.
And that leads me to a story about Kevin. Kevin, who gave me permission to share our encounters, has had quite a journey in life. Some may feel his appearance is of a person who may not be trustworthy or dependable. However, he’s the one who has kept his word on two occasions and it was him who has proven his trust.
Almost two years ago, I helped my son JeNoah start a t-shirt business that promotes Ethnic Unity, “Kindness” and Self-Love. When we first started, a guy named Kevin called and asked if he could meet me to buy a shirt. I was a bit suspicious because most people simply order online. We set up a safe place to meet and he even said he’d be driving almost an hour to get to our town. And to my surprise, Kevin showed up and bought his t-shirt just as he had promised. We were so inspired by Kevin, we made a post on our Facebook page.
But that’s not the end of the story. A year and half went by, and I didn’t hear a word from Kevin until recently. He called us once again and wanted to make another purchase. This time I told him I’d meet him halfway, but he declined my offer. He said he’d drive into town again and we met at the same location as before. But this time, I had a surprise for our loyal customer. I showed up with two free shirts to give him in addition to the one he was coming to buy. We talked, laughed, took pictures, and we both left happy.
I’ll always remember Kevin, and I’m sure I’ll hear from him again. My point in sharing this story is that it’s often the people who are considered the least amongst society, who have the most integrity. They are oftentimes the ones who show kindness and can be counted on the most.