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I went to Five Below to get a big present for the girls. I had miscalculated the remaining balance on the gift card I was using leaving me $0.72 short. No biggie, I had some change in the car I could grab to cover it. So out I went to count some change.

When I came back the gentleman had put my items on hold and was so friendly about it. He rang me up, swiped my card, and said there was nothing on it. Then it clicked! He cancelled the sale, crediting the amount back to the card. That money won’t be back on the card for a couple days.

I’m ashamed that I can’t afford gifts for my children, I was ashamed to have to run out to the car to count change. Not being able to get those gifts was too much. Tears instantly started streaming down my face.

I immediately started trying to figure out ways to pay for the items when he said, “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.” I figured this was company speak for give me your card, lame-o and I’ll figure this mess out. Instead I was stunned when he pulled out his credit card and took care of it himself. I, of course, gave him the gift card and change to cover his cost. The thought though, that’s enough for me.

I am so grateful to that man. For his kindness, for the gift he gave my children, and for letting me know there are still those people out there, willing to help for no reason at all.

While I am often embarrassed about my indigence, at least being a broke joke gave someone the opportunity to be incredibly generous.

2015 Update:

Written: 12/24/2013

Excerpt: It is in some of the smallest gestures and most humbling moments that you are able to find the true brightness of humanity’s innate kindness and natural concern for the wellbeing and wellness of others.

Thoughts: I am still learning about the true nature of generosity. In a time when I am having to deal with people taking my generous nature and using it for their own personal gain and professional profit, my heart and soul still believes completely in the genuine nature and extreme kindness humanity has to offer. I view humanity as a blossoming flower that has never truly been given the opportunity to shine. The people judging them never gave them the tools necessary to get the job done nor provided the education necessary to understand the task before them. In essence, “they” set humanity up for failure by setting the rules of success at odds with the chance of success and then allocating all the blame to those the favor of the odds were against. In my manic, world-saving state I believe and feel strongly blessed with the gifts of peace and the wonders of wisdom and the skill level of gods. And it is in those moments I want to most reassure those out there fighting for what they know, feel, and believe is morally right that they are indeed fighting for their right to live free and will be eternally rewarded for their efforts.

Hope: It took my family losing everything, my will being so broken that I would cry in public, and my situation so dire that I needed to rely on the generosity on others to provide happiness for my children for me to give someone the opportunity to show that humanity still has a fighting chance. It is my sincere hope that people as a whole begin to open their eyes and look for examples of humanity’s saving grace without necessitating such tragic circumstances to experience them.

Moral: True kindness is measured not in the “how much” but rather in the why the gift was given, what the honest cost of giving was, and how freely the gift was gifted.