Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kind Construction Worker

Alright, I am on a one topic kick again, but all of this talk of helping and being kind to strangers has brought to mind one of my very favorite little things a stranger once did for us.

We were staying at a condo in GA for a month a few years back. At the time I had three kids. The oldest of whom was four. Mike was at work and the kids and I were the lone swimmers at the outdoor pool.

A very gruff looking construction worker came through the gate to the pool. I guiltily admit that I was a bit wary of him. As I mentioned, we were the only ones there. He was stocky, dirty, long haired, full bearded, covered in tattoos, and smoking a cigarette (something my kids had recently learned was not something we did!)

He walked to the vending machine and purchased himself a bottle of coke. As he left, however, he called to me, "Hey, I left money in the machine in case your kids want to get something."

Silly. Such a little thing, but my kids were giddy about it. The best thing was what a great lesson it taught them. They were clearly aware that outwardly he looked a bit unconventional and that he was even doing something we didn't condone (smoking), and they were so excited that he did something so thoughtful. To them, such an unexpected treat was about the most kind thing someone could have left us. Ever since then, when we talk about not judging others or when we discuss how not everyone that does things differently from what we expect of them is bad, they bring up that man. "Oh," they'll shout excitedly, "Like that guy in GA who was smoking and looked kind of mean, but he was SO SO nice!!"

Anyway, I loved the lesson that one construction worker taught me and my kids -- how happy it makes people when you offer even the smallest gesture of kindness and how important it is that we never judge a book by its cover.

Thanks crazy tattooed Georgian construction worker!

9 comments:

Krista said...

How many times do we overlook people who don't seem "our type of person"? I think we'd miss out on knowing some amazing people if we judge them solely on their looks. I'm always telling people at work that I'm smart for my looks! I have gained and lost weight and I can say that I am treated a lot better when I am slimmer. It's a shame because I'm still the same person. HA! Gosh, I'm deep tonight!

Tia Juana said...

OH that is the BEST STORY EVER!!! And I am so going to use it as my own sometime. (I mean I will use it and of course credit my bbff - best blogger friend forever).

Karen said...

That story brought tears to my eyes. I love when life teaches the lessons and we as mom's get to just point them out.

Perla said...

that is an awesome story! i almost cried when i read it. how come you never told me that before? i loved it.

Liz said...

That is so cool. I wish I would think of small little gestures like that to do for random strangers. It's funny how the little things can make you so happy.

Mugsy said...

Funny how something like this little story can touch you in so many ways. Very neat. You are a good mom Nanc

Women Afire said...

I've always loved that story. I'll have to keep my eyes open for something like that so that my kids will better understand such a concept. Thanks for all of your thoughtful reminders lately.
Marz

jami said...

i love this story -and i love that the kindness came from someone you didn't expect it from. :) it seems like that's the best kind. i am always amazed at who seems to offer help and who doesn't - like at the airport the other night (aka 12midnight) and jas took cole to get the car. i kept miles and maybe it's because i'm a fatty prego girl, or maybe i just looked like a wimp but i had one nice guy lift all my luggage off the luggage thing, then another mom - with one of her arms loaded with a little girl (and her hubby in front with all the luggage and another kid) ask if she could push our luggage for me. i'm amazed at the little kindness people show - even when we don't take it - i'm still always grateful for the person who at least asks ... a good lesson to remember. :) thanks for the topic tangent and good deed do-er reminder. :)

Amy said...

Ah ha I do read your blog--just not always. I still pray for a man who stopped to help me and six of my friends who were on our way home from CA. The Bell's car just suddenly started smoking, right in the middle of the desert, and it would not start again even when I wiggled some wires and poured water on the engine. After about an hour a man stopped. He said he was a traveling salesman and had made it a point NEVER to stop. But for a half hour after he passed us "someone" kept telling him to go back, so he turned around, drove another half hour back and helped push us with his nice new car--bumper to bumper his getting severly scratched in the process and stayed with us until we sold the ruined car for $50 and rented one from Vegas.

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