A Caring Boy | Stories of Life

Two days earlier, my daughter and her eleven-year-old son were strolling leisurely on 5th Ave. The crowd on the two sidewalks was dense, as usual, and the atmosphere, bubbly and vibrant. As mother and son moved along, enjoying themselves, a young African American boy, around nineteen-years of age attracted their attention. He was leaning against a wall and sobbing pitiably, as he shifting on his badly hurt leg. The pant leg on his hurt side was torn, and his dirty white T-shirt was soaking with sweat in the midmorning heat. As the boy cried with pain, and tears cascaded down his cheeks, he stretched a begging hand to the passers-by. Unfortunately, the crowd moved on uncaringly. My grandson – whom I’ll call, Leon in the story – stopped in his place. He turned to his mother and said, “Mom, we have to help this poor boy. You can see how badly he is hurt.”
So, they approached the person and asked how they could help him. He answered, “I am very thirsty and hungry.”
Mother and son ran to the nearby grocery store and got some soda and chips, and handed them to him. The boy thanked them and said, “I have been begging all these people for hour to have pity on me, but they all simply walk on without caring.”
Leon sighed deeply and asked, “What happened to your leg?’
The boy explained that he fell getting off the train, on his way to the shelter. Leon demanded if he could get back to the shelter. The boy answered that he could if he had some money to take the train.
“Mom,” my grandson looked at my daughter. “We have to give him a bit of money.” My daughter immediately pulled out a twenty-dollar bill from her handbag, and offered to the boy, who took it thanking my daughter for her kindness. Leon, whose eyes were beginning to shimmer with tears, looked at his mother with melancholy, and asked her in a low voice to give more to the poor boy. My daughter who had another fifty dollar on her, took the money out and gave it to the young boy saying, “Promise me you won’t spend it on drugs.”
“I give you my honest word, mam. No, no, I won’t.” Then, turning to Leon, he added, “Listen, young man… Don’t do what I did in life. I dropped out of school, and thought I could become an actor. But, nobody gave me a chance to become one.” He shook his head and carried on, “You know, you need money for these things. So, I ended up becoming a homeless person.”
My grandson responded with a shaky voice, “It is not too late. You can still persevere with your dream. Promise me you will not give up.”
The homeless boy, thought for a while. Then he smiled at Leon, took a deep breath and said, “You are right. I have to be a fighter. Who knows, one day, you might see me on TV!”
Leon smiled and answered, “I’m sure you’ll succeed. Just don’t give up”
As they left the homeless limping boy, Leon began sobbing loudly. His mother hugged him and told him that she is proud of having such a caring child. Leon said, “You know what? Shame on people like us. We have everything, and yet, we still are not happy with what we have. We want more and more… Yes, nothing is good enough for us.”
Let’s hope for miracles. Let’s hope that the poor boy will truly succeed.

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