Kindness Is a Simple Gift

Kindness Is a Simple Gift

From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

Kindness Is a Simple Gift

In this world we must help one another.

Jean de La Fontaine

My family and I were taking a well-deserved vacation to Disneyland. I had never been there before and was eagerly anticipating experiencing the magic.

There was another reason that this trip was special. My father was a workaholic who worked long hours. I longed to spend time with him. I wanted to be able to sit down with my father, who I loved more than life, and just talk. It always seemed like there was never time.

The day finally arrived when I was allowed to pack my clothes. I chose only my favorite outfits. I threw in my autograph book and then muscled the suitcase zipper around the overflow of clothes. I set my suitcase on my comforter and smiled. I was ready.

I didn’t get any sleep that night. I lay in my bed and stared out the window. I knew that my father’s work was going to be left at home, finally.

After a brief breakfast we hit the open road. It was all smooth sailing for the first couple of hours until I unexpectedly felt a sharp jerk. We coasted to the side of the road, and my dad said something about the engine being shot. We were in the middle of four lanes of traffic, so he decided the easiest thing to do would be to flag someone down and get a ride into town.

An hour later, my dad was still waving his hands at each and every passing car but it wasn’t doing any good. Not a single soul would stop to assist my helpless family. Finally Father gave up and decided to walk into town. I was certain it was a very long distance. I pleaded with him to stay and try again, but he was deaf to my pleading. He just said that he wouldn’t let anything ruin this trip for me. My heart ached as he put on his coat and began to walk away from our car. My dad has a back problem, and he was too stubborn to admit that he wasn’t in any condition to even walk a couple of miles.

Then I saw a figure out of the window. It was a lone trucker. I looked around for his rig. I didn’t see it until I realized that his truck was parked on the other side of the road. He had walked across four lanes of traffic to get to us. The feeling I felt at that moment is indescribable. I was truly touched that this man cared so much. Not one other person had taken time out of his or her own selfish life to stop and see if everything was okay, but this man was different. He didn’t even know us, and he didn’t expect anything in return.

Father got his ride back to town, and our car was repaired. My visions of Mickey were rekindled, as was my faith that angels do exist. Because of that man’s actions, my father and I had the opportunity to grow close again, and I still cherish my genuine Mickey Mouse autograph.

None of this would have been possible if that man hadn’t given us the gift that he did—the gift of kindness.

Michael Oknefski, seventeen

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