My son is 22 months old. That’s right, not even 2 years old. Yet he is the most intelligent, kindest soul I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
I’m not just saying that because he is mine. I’m saying it because it’s true.
Being the junkie I am, I naturally had a reading done fore him while he was in utero.
“What a doll! He is going to do a lot of wonderful things in his life, mostly to help people. He really is such a sweet soul and you will see it almost immediately.”
Boy was she right. My son was born smiling. Yes, he throws a temper tantrum every now and then (okay everyday but hey, it’s the age) but when he is out in the world he is the happiest, sweetest baby on earth.
My husband and I were in the New York City where we met and lived for fifteen years. We parked the car, and as per usual, my son did not want to get into his stroller, so my husband had to carry him.
As we turned the corner of the parking garage on the Upper West Side, there was a homeless man sitting up against the wall. By all accounts he looked to be in distress. As we passed him, the thought that he might scare Gavin passed briefly through my mind.
I watched as Gavin and the man locked eyes. What I witnessed next left me in awe.
“Hi.” Said my son waving.
The man looked up. He smiled. “You are saying hi to me?” he said.
“Yeah!” Said Gavin with delight.
My husband stopped walking to allow them to speak.
The man stood up a wide toothless smile across his weatherbeaten face. “You said hi to me?”
Gavin smiled and held up his little hand for a high five. Then man touched his tiny hand gently.
“I think you might be an angel. Thank you. Thank you for saying hi to me.”
My husband smiled and Gavin said “Bye, bye” and started blowing the man kisses.
I reached into my purse to get money. I figured it was the least I could do. I handed the man a twenty dollar bill. Much to my surprise he didn’t take it. He put his hand on mine and with tears in his eyes said:
“No ma’m. I won’t take your money. No one has said hello to me in years.”
I let that sink in. I couldn’t even imagine a life where that would be my reality.
“Every day hundreds of people walk by me, they throw money at my feet, look at me with disgust, pity or shame, but never once do they say hello. Your son has given more to me today than any amount of money could ever have. God bless you and your family, and especially that little boy.”
With that, he turned and went on his way.
That one event taught me so much about the value of human kindness. At the most basic level, we are all just beings seeking to be loved, respected and accepted. While the majority of the world is wrapped up in the throes of egotistical pursuits and contrived dramas, some others of us are just looking for a simple hello.