ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Small Gestures Make Huge Impacts

Updated on January 9, 2012

War - Why Can't We Be Friends

Bill Withers - Lean on Me

James Taylor - You've Got a Friend

 

The neighborhood around the store that I frequent has a high population of homeless people since it is in close proximity to a food bank and a shelter.  So I am quite use to people asking me for spare change.  I am never consistent with giving out money. I actually try not to but sometimes I give in, especially if someone has a clever sign.  I am a sociologist at heart and really love people. Watching them especially and I think that is where I developed a soft spot for street people.  Even as a child I was never really scared of street people more curious about them. What brought them there and if they were truly struggling or just trying to pull something over on someone. 

About three years ago I was going to the store to pick up a few items when I was approached by an older gentleman who did not look or smell to great.  In fact that is probably an understatement.  I was trying to avoid him but ended up looking him in the eye when he asked me if I had any spare change.  It was November and just starting to get cold outside.  My hands were in my pockets and I could feel a loose dollar bill.  I was hesitant to hand it over but something inside made me hand it over to him.  As I did hand it over I realized that it wasn’t a dollar bill.  I had just given him five dollars there was no time for me to react. He looked at the bill thanked me profusely and told me that God would bless me tenfold.  I told myself that I would tell no one as I walked into the store. I knew that everyone I know including my father and my husband would think I was crazy.  It only took a few moments in the store for me to completely forget about the transaction that had happened in front of the store. 

Less than a year later I was at the same store but this time I was with my husband.  We were in a bit of a hurry and were stopped as we were walking in.    The man asked my husband if I was his wife. It took me a minute but I recognized the man.  It was the same man I had given the five dollars to several months earlier.  My husband shook his head affirming that I was indeed his wife.  The man stepped forward and told my husband that I had given him five dollars and that he was so shocked by my gesture.  He had only asked for change and ended up getting five dollars.  He told my husband that he used three dollars to buy a sandwich and a drink and the last two dollars were used to get in touch with his grown son that he had not seen or talked to in over 5 years. He went on to say that my gesture and a few other things that happened that day finally put him on a positive course and as soon as he saw me he wanted to thank me.   He shook our hands and my husband and I walked into the store.  This time the transaction between us stayed with me a little bit longer.

A little over a month later my husband and I were at the neighborhood video store.  We had been there a while when the same man that I had given five dollars to approached us. Next to him was a young look man in a business suit.  This time the man introduced himself as Robert Sr. and told us that the young man was his son Robert Jr.  Robert Sr. thanked me again for helping him out and told us that he was so happy that he was able to reconnect with his son.  Robert Sr. had moved in with his son and was doing much better. Robert Jr. agreed completely with his father and thanked us as well.  While Robert Jr. was thanking us he tried to give me five dollars.  I refused to accept his gift just on principal alone.  I had made the original gesture with the knowledge that I would never see that money again.  I thanked him but declined his offer. Now Robert Sr. and Jr. were both in my head and in my heart. 

Every now and then I would see both Robert Sr. and Jr. out and about in our neighborhood. Sometimes they would be together but not always and we would stop and talk.  My husband would see them out and about as well.  Then there came a time when my husband asked me when the last time was that I saw either of them and I really couldn’t remember.  I knew it had been some time.  My husband figured it was a few months; I however was not sure at all. I hoped for the best for both of them. 

A little over a year passed and my husband and I were celebrating a milestone with a night out of dinner and dancing.  I was happy to pick a restaurant that we had wanted to go to for a long time.  The restaurant was lovely and our table overlooked the water.  While we were sitting and talking we heard a group of people a few tables down being a little loud and turned to look.  We noticed that it was Robert Jr. with a bunch of other men in business suits.  We waved hello to him, he saw us and came right on over to our table. He sat down next to my husband and we talked for about 10 minutes.  In that time he told us that his father was gravely ill and he did not know how much longer he had on this earth. He also thanked us again saying that he felt that it was our gesture that brought them back together again.  He was happy that he got to spend these last few years with his father. We were both totally moved by what Robert was saying to us.  He was at a business dinner and had to get back with his group but wished us a very happy anniversary and left to go back to his table.  My husband and I continued on with our meal and drinks.  Our dinner seemed to go on for hours. It was truly a special evening.  After dessert my husband asked for the check so that we could go on to the next venue; dancing.  Our waitress came over and told us that our bill had been taken care of.  We both turned around quickly to see if Robert and his friends were still at the table but only the busboy was there taking away the mess that he and his cronies had left behind. Robert was gone but all of the transactions we had with him and his father will continue to leave a lasting impression on me. 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you so much pmccray!!

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 

      8 years ago from Utah

      Voted up, marked awesome and beautiful. A sterling and real example of paying it forward.

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you xixi12 - This is so true!

    • xixi12 profile image

      xixi12 

      8 years ago from Everywhere but here. In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. You can never be truly free till you have the discipline to manage it.

      Great story, it does not matter how little our help may seem to us, what is important is that it goes a long way for the person we are helping. Thanks for sharing

    • Triplet Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Hello Hello!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A wonderful story and thank you for sharing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)