By Roger Dean Kiser
First off I am not an easy fellow to inspire. When I am inspired (and it is not often), it is not because of things that would normally inspire most other people.
I happened to be driving down the road one day last year with my 3-year-old granddaughter Madison when I saw a sign that read “Friendly Upholstery,” located on Old Jesup Road here in Brunswick, Georgia. It was a small wooden shop located behind a small house which sat off the road some fifty feet or so.
When I walked inside, the gentleman was on the telephone, so I began to show Madison what they built in such a place.
As she and I were walking around, I overheard him tell whoever he was talking to that it was his birthday. I motioned with my hand and told him to take his time as I was in no hurry.
When he completed his telephone call, I began to explain to him that I had a small wooden shelf in my home office that protruded out from my computer desk and that on numerous occasions my granddaughter had banged her head into the shelf when playing with her Papa. I explained that I needed a piece leather or naugahyde material to cover the shelf to protect her head and face.
“She sure is a pretty little thing,” he said, as he reached out and rubbed the top of Madison’s head, making her laugh and then blush.
I stood watching as he headed off to a back room, near the far end of his shop. Several minutes later he returned holding out a four-foot by six-foot piece of greenish-blue leather. I reached out, took the material and stood wondering how much this leather was going to cost me.
“How much do I owe you?”
“Don’t worry about it,” he told me, as he waved his hand back and forth.
After thanking him, and shaking his hand, Madison and I got into my truck and returned home, where I covered the small shelf with foam and the leather. It was less than an hour later when she slipped off the edge of my desk hitting her face directly on the side of the shelf. A bit stunned she got up, climbed into her Papa’s lap and just lay there hugging me.
I was very much inspired by that gentleman’s act of kindness. I was inspired by his concern for someone else’s safety, rather than the almighty dollar – just another buck that he could have gotten from me, a stranger from out of nowhere.
Last week, one year later, I returned to his small shop and I thanked him once again. I wanted him to know that kindness and good deeds are truly appreciated by some, even in this day and age, and that I will forever remember that kindness.
People just being good, kind and respectful to one another is what inspires me most. Those emotions are free to everyone who wishes to use them for themselves. They are also free to those who wish to give them away.
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