I have not written about it yet but my grandfather and I are very close. He played a huge role in my upbringing and I would not be the man I am today without him. One of my favorite stories of his though is one that has been a huge influence on me wanting to change my approach to life. Around 21 years ago my grandfather was outside watering his flowers when he noticed the young son of his next-door neighbor with a table of trinkets outside. Curious, my poppop walked over to 11 year old Tom and asked him why he set up this table full of gadgets and old toys. Tom responded by saying that he wanted a new pair of sneakers but had to earn the money all by himself. Without hesitation, Tom then asked if my poppop would like to purchase one of his old toys. After browsing for a bit, poppop picked up a partially deflated basketball and asked Tom the price. Tom told him it would only be $2.00 because of the poor condition the ball was in. Dumbfounded, poppop said “No way! This is at least a $20.00 basketball.” So poppop handed the wide eyed little boy a 20 dollar bill for the old deflated basketball and wished him luck with the rest of his fundraising. Fast forward to 2012 by which point my poppop had battled several major health issues and was recently diagnosed with stage 2b pancreatic cancer. He was pretty weak and could not do the work to maintain his yard like he did in the past when he got a knock on the door. His good pal Tom was all grown up now and wanted to start his own landscaping company. His first customer? My grandfather. Tom gave my poppop a price $20.00 or the equivalent of an old deflated basketball, for his landscaping services and has kept it that way ever since.
My poppop’s $20.00 investment stuck with Tom throughout his whole life and motivated him to come back and thank my grandfather when he needed it most. This is just one small reminder that you never know how much of an impact one small kind act can have.