Looking Back

I was out running an errand with my daughter one afternoon a couple of weeks ago when we came to a red light at a busy intersection in the city. On the near corner of our side of the street, a small, energetic group sporting matching blue t-shirts gathered around two folding tables with a poster-board sign attached advertising lemonade for sale: $1.00. Several cups of both the yellow and pink varieties sat iced and ready. At one point, my daughter made eye contact with the group’s front man who was busy scampering from car to car before the light turned green. As he approached, she smiled while lowering her window and informing him that, unfortunately, she didn’t have any cash on her. Without hesitation, he generously offered it to us free of charge, for which we thanked him but politely declined, not wanting to hold up traffic. As we pulled away shortly thereafter, I told my daughter that I was pretty sure I had a couple of dollars in my wallet and that we could stop on the way back.

As we approached the intersection on the return trip about thirty minutes later, we turned left at the light and wound our way through a parking lot that eventually led to a spot directly behind where the refreshment vendors had set up shop. The gentleman who had made us the kind offer earlier broke into a big smile when he saw that my daughter had returned and was approaching with cash in hand. The others working the stand thanked her profusely and even turned around to wave at and thank me from a distance.

That evening, my daughter and I both commented on how glad we were that we took the few minutes to go out of our way to help. It felt good. And looking back, I’m certain that she and I benefited from the interaction that day every bit as much as, if not more than, the nice people wearing blue.