Kindness has a ripple effect in our lives. It has a positive impact on us and it can lead to kindness from others. While doing the wrong thing may seem like a smart move, choosing to act selflessly brings the most benefit in the end. Sean faced a moral dilemma when a blind man gave him a wad of cash, but he chose correctly and earned an invaluable reward. This story was inspired by a reader of AmoMama, where it was originally published.
Uprooted from the Family Farm
Sean loved growing up on a farm. His parents gave him all of the secrets of the trade and a love for nature. Despite all of the manual labor, the family thrived, waking up early, working the land, and cooking dinner together with their homegrown produce. However, the dream life crashed when they suffered financial trouble that forced them to sell the farm. The new owner planned to turn the family-run business into a corporation.
The family moved to the city and Sean struggled to adjust to his new life. He didn’t like the bustling streets, the loud traffic, the constant smell of pollution. Worst of all, their financial issues continued. His parents both worked, but their entry-level jobs couldn’t cover all of their new costs, like the expensive rent and car payments. This created a lot of tension in the household as Sean’s parents argued over expenses. The stress led to his father’s cardiac arrest while driving home from work. His wife was in the car as it careened into a lamp post.
Sean was left alone in the world. But he didn’t have much time to grieve as bills continued to pour in. After a week of mourning, he forced himself to get dressed and find a job. Fortunately, he got a job as a cashier at a gas station. He took long shifts; he needed the income and there was no one at home waiting for him.
“Take the Money”
So he was working when a man entered accompanied by a young girl. Sean greeted them with a smile, but when he noticed the man’s dark sunglasses and white cane, he added a quick, “Hello!” The girl helped the blind man navigate around the shelves and pick out the items he needed. After placing all of their purchases on the counter, she stepped outside to look for the friend coming to pick them up.
Sean rang up the items while glancing at the waiting man. The man was facing him, unmoving, and it was uncanny to think he couldn’t see him. “That’ll be $11,” Sean said a little too loudly and immediately caught himself. The man was blind, not deaf.
“Of course,” said the man. He took money out of his wallet then hesitated, perhaps realizing the girl wasn’t there to count it for him. “Here,” he said, handing the wad of bills to Sean. “Please take $11 from this.”
Sean was stunned. There was almost $2,000 in cash. He held it for a moment, daring to believe what he could do with this money, even half of it. The man probably won’t notice a difference. But Sean felt like his parents were watching him from beyond the grave and he knew what they’d want him to do. He carefully took eleven dollars and handed the rest of the money back. He tried not to feel sad as the cash disappeared back into the man’s wallet.
The man left and Sean saw him meet with the girl outside. They began talking and the man handed the girl the wallet and she began to carefully count the money. Sean felt relieved he didn’t try to steal anything; it looked like it would have been caught anyway. He thought the entire incident was over until the pair walked back into the store.
Read: Little Boy Goes Door to Door Begging for Food for Sick Mom, Then Local Priest Follows His Trail – a Short Story
Creating a Cycle of Giving
The man smiled and said, “We’ve tried this test on six other gas station employees and you were the first one to pass. Everyone else tried to take extra, and one even tried to switch some $100 bills for $1 bills. But I had a feeling you’d win; you welcomed us as we entered while everyone else ignored us. You’ve earned this.” The man placed a key and a business card on the counter. “This opens a storage locker at this address. There’s a present for you there.”
The man and girl left before Sean could digest this. They were already gone when he finally picked up the key. He felt it burn in his pocket for the rest of his shift as time seemed to slow. At last, he was free and he ran to the address. His heart pounded as he found the locker and inserted the key. Inside was a lockbox full of money and a note that read: “If you are reading this, congratulations. My children have tried to swindle me out of my money so I ensured that my inheritance will go to someone deserving of it, someone honest and kind-hearted. I hope you will use this money to make your own fortune and then help someone else who needs it. Let this cycle of giving be my legacy.”
Sean already knew what he wanted to do. As soon as he got home, he made some calls and bought his family farm back. He invested the rest of the money into revitalizing the land and making a memorial for his parents. And he did not forget the blind man’s condition. Several years later, Sean started an organization to save other farmers from the financial crisis his family went through.
This story was inspired by an original piece of fiction that first appeared on AmoMama. Any similarities between this story and actual people are purely coincidental.