The sentiment “Be nice to everyone, especially because you never know they are going to be” is a rule of thumb held by many – and holds very true for one young man who experienced it firsthand! An unidentified gentleman recounts the story of his unique experience beginning in his freshman year of high school, when he learned the true meaning of paying it forward. *Warning: this story WILL bring tears to your eyes!
He recalls one day when he saw a boy named Kyle from his class walking home from school. Kyle was looking a bit peculiar carrying what appeared to be all of his books. The young man got the impression that Kyle really must have been a nerd to be lugging around books on a Friday night. As he walked on, the young man saw a bunch of kids running toward Kyle, knocking all of the books from his arms and tripping him, causing him to fall down into the dirt with his glasses flying off his face. Upon seeing the incredible sadness in Kyle’s eyes, the compassionate young man went up to Kyle and handed him his glasses, saying, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” Kyle said thanks and a big smile lit up on his face.
He helped him gather his books and, upon learning Kyle lived nearby his own home, the young man walked him home and got to know more about him. It turned out Kyle had just transferred from a private school to the public school he attended, and discovered he was actually a really cool kid. Come Monday morning, Kyle was back holding the huge stack of books again. The young man teased, “Damn boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” Kyle just laughed and handed him half the stack to carry.
In the duration of their four years in high school, the young man and Kyle became the best of friends. The young man teased Kyle all the time about being a nerd, but it was all in good fun and there was truth to it – he ended up being the class valedictorian, after all. Aside from being a brain, Kyle also grew in many ways during high school: his body filled out, he actually looked good in glasses, and the ladies took notice – he ended up getting more dates than the young man! Upon graduation, Kyle was to give a valedictorian speech something he seemed very nervous about. His best friend, the young man, told him not to worry and that he would be great.
His speech began with, “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach… but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give to them. I’m going to tell you a story.” The young man looked on in disbelief as his friend told the audience about the first day they had met.
Kyle was planning to kill himself that weekend. He had cleaned out his locker so his mother wouldn’t have to later, which explained why he was carrying all his books. He looked at the young man, giving a small smile. He went on, saying, “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.” A collective gasp was heard throughout the audience as Kyle, the good looking popular boy confessed to all present his weakest moment. His parents looked at the young man, smiling a grateful smile similar to Kyle’s. It wasn’t until that moment that the young man had realized the depth of his actions.
No matter how seemingly big or small, actions can leave a major impact on somebody’s life. In some cases, it can mean the different between life and death. And there’s always a reason, whether it turns out for the good or the not-so-good, that someone is put in your life.
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