Old Man

Every day, I passed by a little shop down the street and saw an old man sitting in his rocking chair next to the shop door. He was always there, whether morning, noon, or in the evening. Sometimes the shop was closed, but he was there, observing.

However, one day I was passing by and spotted him talking to a young boy, probably 10-years-old. He told the boy to take the money he just received from him as a gift, and go buy some candy. This is when I told myself that the boy must have been his grandchild.

The next day, as I was walking down the street as usual to get to work for my afternoon shift, I saw the man talking to someone, a little homeless child. He actually stood up this time! He held the little girl’s hand and gave her what looks like five dollars. She smiled, and went to get a bottle of water.

This little act of kindness triggered my curiosity, so I went to the old man who had sat again in his chair and asked him what this was all about.

He grinned — I could barely see it through his white beard — and said to me that he has opened this shop specifically in this street for a reason.

“Do you know what this place is known as?”, said the man.

“Isn’t it 4th avenue?”

“It is, but it has a nickname. This is called refugee avenue. People named it that way because there are a lot of refugees that live in tents all around. Didn’t you notice?”

“I honestly never took the time to look around and admire this place, I was always so busy with getting to work on time”, I said, shyly.

After a discussion with the old man, I discovered that he opened a shop in this place, so that every day, he would offer the little refugee kids an amount of 5-10 dollars for them to get some food. And it worked.

He also said, “The satisfaction you feel after helping out others is much greater than the one you feel after getting a raise. Socrates once said that the one who knows good will do good, and I think I know good, and I want to spread good. So I did, and I’ve never been more satisfied.”

A life lesson I never forgot, and it opened my eyes so they could see that world needs a helping hand. Be kind, always.

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