While waiting to pick up my daughters at school yesterday, I saw a class of four-year-olds walking toward the playground. Eager for the relative freedom of recess, they approached the fence and carefully hung their lunch boxes and book bags on the designated posts.
One little boy caught my eye as he tried several times to hoist the handle of his lunch box over the top of the post. He finally succeeded, then slipped the book bag off his back, and began to maneuver it into place. His first attempt saw the lunch box knocked from its proper position down to the ground. To his credit, he didn’t show frustration, only began the whole process over again.
Just past him another boy, already finished, noticed his classmate’s trouble. As other children bounded off to the playground, this boy moved in beside his friend, took the lunch box and quickly put it back in place. He then took the book bag, slid it over the post, and, without a word, both turned and continued down the sidewalk.
So which character would I be in this story? One of those wrapped up in the excitement of the moment, unaware that someone needed help? It’s not that the others were unfeeling; they just didn’t notice, didn’t take the time to look around them.
I’d prefer to think I’m like the four-year-old good Samaritan – the boy who saw a need and stopped to help, not expecting thanks or repayment, but just doing what he could.
Yet I know that often enough I’m not that way. May the example of this tender-hearted preschooler cause me to see those in my path who could use an act of kindness.