Hello Income Insider’s readers!
Today I want to share a quick – personal story with you all about a little irritation I can’t seem to move passed…(I know, silly…)
Anyway, I have an 11 year old neighbor boy who really has been through the ringer since his short life on this earth.
I won’t go into the details, but trust me on this one.
He’s an only child and let’s just say he doesn’t have much.
My husband and I have helped him from time to time with money – food – clothes, etc..
He came riding up our drive this past week on his bike which had no back tire and the actual metal was cracked in half. I couldn’t believe he could safely ride that thing on the street.
In a panic, he told me he needed $50.00 for a new bike he saw at a nearby store. Mind you – he didn’t ask…he told me that’s what he needed.
I proceeded to tell him I didn’t have that kind of money laying around just to give away to him. Well, he started to cry a bit.
One major detail:
This kid knows everything about everything and he can do anything better than anyone else…you know, a snot nose in my opinion. Believe me, we’ve had our moments.
So I got to thinking; Okay. To an 11 year old boy, your bike is everything. So I made him a deal…
I told him if he’d do some odd jobs around my house, work for the money, I would buy him that bike.
It felt good to me to be able not only to give him something he desperately wanted, but I was teaching him if you want something…it doesn’t come free.
It was a deal but he said the store only had one bike. I figured at $50 it wouldn’t last long.
It was supposed to be a beautiful weekend so I thought I’d just go purchase the bike and surprise him on Saturday with it for him to ride. I was so excited, feeling like I was making a difference in his life…
He came over after school that next day, ready to work. We started talking about the bike – the color – the make…guess what? It wasn’t the bike he had seen.
I was devastated. However, the bike I bought was really cool. I thought for sure for a kid who didn’t have much, he would absolutely love it. Any kid would.
Feeling like I should show him before he started to work, I uncovered it in the garage for him to see.
He started to cry and told me that was not the bike he wanted. AND…this one was junk!
My heart fell to my feet…at first. Then, I got pissed.
I was trying to tell him that sometimes in life you have to work your way up…right or wrong, that’s what I was taught. I was also taught to say thank you and appreciate things people do or give you.
But I didn’t get either one. In fact, he rode off on his dilapidated bike like it was my fault I didn’t get to the store sooner…
I didn’t see him at all that weekend…
Tuesday he shows up at my door wanting to work for a different bike he had seen. Let me say we had a very – different – short conversation…
He proceeded to tell me as he was leaving that “staring at a computer screen all day isn’t work”…nothing like manual work like he does.
Talk about high blood pressure! At that point, all I could do was tell him to leave…
I guess the moral of this story is that there are times in our lives when we choose to get involved in other people’s lives not knowing what the impact will be if any.
I hope years from now he will look back on this with a different set of eyes, realizing what a snot he really was.
Also, for parents; Do your kids a favor and teach them the value of appreciation and gratitude. Start young until they learn it and live it. They will carry that virtue throughout their lives both personally and professionally…
Not everyone is kind-hearted, but for those of us who are, we might think twice the next time…I know I already have. However, I will still pray for him that he learns a few of life’s lessons before it’s too late.
Please leave your thoughts below…