A contagion of generosity
I am delighted with this entry, as I trust you will be,too. Not only has Katy Keim provided a sweet story of kindness, but she has put it into a thought-provoking prospective. In a binary world, an either-or world, established by all the elders before her, Katy suggests … well, read on.
Katy’s optimism and belief that one person can change the world can’t be dismissed as naive. It’s a game plan!
By Katy Keim
Pat Gagon lives in a pristine house outside of downtown. He is active in his community and is seen volunteering at and attending charitable events. For example, he is a proud member and supporter of the Lions Club and the American Legion Association. Due to his welcoming nature, life has awarded him many friends.
One day Pat stopped going outside. He stopped tending to his garden and stopped going to meetings. His beloved friends were beginning to worry after days without him. Pat is never one to miss an appointment. Anxiously they awaited his return but it didn’t come. They were so distraught with worry that they broke down the door to his home. They found him sick in bed, unable to move.
Pat was hospitalized for months, and in the meantime his friends, myself among them, looked after his affairs. We divided up the duties. My family took responsibility of lawn care, others cleaned his house, and more maintained it. Pat had a large pine tree in his yard that shed needles year round. It was backbreaking work, but we cleaned up all of the pine needles under the tree.
Everybody was relieved to see Pat’s return home, although he was very weak. I remember one evening when my father and I were at his house to check on him shortly after his return. The flowerbed that had previously been very well kept was a jungle of untamed weeds that offset the neatness of his lawn. We were about to head home when I said “You know- I think that I’m going to pull some weeds.”
Dad looked confused then said, “At our house?”
“No, silly. I’m doing it over here.” I gestured to Pat’s flower bed.
“No,” Pat said, “it’s too late right now. If you’d like you can come do it tomorrow morning?” So it was settled.
I went to Pat’s house the following day and pulled out all the weeds in the flower bed while he sat and watched me.
But there was something that Pat didn’t know. He didn’t know that all the time that he had been in the hospital I had been saving up for a trip to the UK. I had created a business flyer a few days before he had come home with no intention of ever using it.
After I had gone home for the day, Pat ran into my father. He asked if there was any way that he could repay me for the work I had done. My father happened to mention the flyer I had designed, and Pat was very taken with the idea, but I couldn’t believe that after what little deed I did for him, we would perform such an important one for me. It was good karma, as Pat had said.
He used his tight connections with some of his friends to get me jobs mowing the lawn and shoveling snow at the American Legion cabin, and he used his social skills to get me a job baby-sitting the neighbor’s cat when she is gone. Slowly but surely, Pat Gagon helped me raise all of the money that I needed for my trip to Europe.
Pat Gagon saw and took an opportunity to show kindness, and gave me the best experiences of my life. Not only that, he noted the kindness of others who helped him and has repaid them well. I will never forget what he has done for me and I hope someday to repay him for the deeds he has performed for me, and I know that memory of his kindness will live forever.
We all tell ourselves that we would do the right thing in a bad situation. We claim that we will perform a good deed for those who have done the same for us. We say that we are the best we can possibly be. We are wrong. Everyday we are given choices: Do the right thing or do the wrong thing. Most of us don’t realize there is a third option: Do the kind thing. Sometimes, but only if we’re lucky, we recognize that opportunity to be kind. And if we are even luckier, we will be rewarded for our kindness.
Isn’t it kind of amazing how karma is like dominoes? If one person does one good deed for one person, that person will do one for another, and that one for another… one person really can change the world.
That’s good karma.
Do you have a story about kindness, either random or by intent? We’s love to hear about it. Enter here: https://awordwithyoupress.com/2018/08/26/one-of-a-kindness-our-new-contest/