I hope you will forgive me for doing a bit of bragging here but I have recently had some news that really blesses my heart and it got me to thinking about how much we influence events and people and may never know it. A simple act of kindness can have ripple effects that reach far beyond what we ever imagined. I posted in another thread some time ago the story of a young man my wife and I helped out years ago. I'll recap that and then share the latest. We lived in a very rural area far from town. My wife was coming home one day and saw this young boy, pulling a lawnmower, walking down the dirt country road. A mile from the nearest house. She was curious and pulled over and asked him where he was going. He was going to his house about 3 miles on up the road. She had him load the mower in the back and she gave him a ride. She asked what he was doing so far from home. He said that he had just mowed the mans yard in the house a mile back. She asked if that was how he made money and he said no. She asked if it was a relative and again no. To make a long story short, he didn't even really know the man but he knew that he was in the hospital and had been for some time. He noticed the grass getting tall and just decided that it needed mowed so he drug the mower down there and mowed it. We learned that his home life wasn't good. He had an alcoholic father and a mother with health problems and they lived on welfare in a run down dumpy trailer. We started paying him to mow our yard and do chores and help out around the place. His senior year in High school he had an after school job and the old junker car he was driving broke down. I had '95 Toyota pick up that I used for a second truck around the farm so I told him to take it and use it to get to work and school. He graduated at the top of his class and for a graduation present we gave him the truck. You would have thought it was a brand new Cadillac Escalade at his reaction. I don't think anyone had ever given him anything in his life before. He had gotten a very good offer to join the Navy but was going to turn it down because he was "in love" with a little local girl. We talked him out of it and he joined the Naval Reserves. He took his enlistment bonus and bought a small run down farm house on a couple of acres. Moved his parents in and started fixing the place up. We moved overseas a few years after that and we gave him a lot of our things we couldn't take with us. A big screen TV and some furniture etc. He used the training he got in the Navy to get a really good job and has done very well. He bought a new truck a few years ago. I had the chance to ask him recently about the truck we had given him. And come to find out he had met a family that lived near him. A young couple with a new baby. The husband was out of work and they had got their car repossessed. He went down and put new tires on that old truck, had it tuned up and took it over and gave it to them. Of course he didn't mention the details, I had to learn it from someone else. Now I have just learned that after the recent tornado in Oklahoma he took his entire paycheck, took off from work, went and bought pallets of bottled water, canned goods, blankets etc. loaded them up, and has been going every day into the devastated areas and giving them out to people. He has been helping strangers to clean up their yards and damaged houses. He went down and bought rolls of visqueen and helped to tarp leaking roofs. All of this I learned second hand as he would have just shrugged it off and not made a big deal of it. Talking to my wife last night we were so amazed at how a small kindness from us all those years ago had instilled in him such a giving attitude toward others. At least we like to think that part of it was our influence. The results of one simple act of kindness to another can have such far reaching effects that we cannot even begin to fathom how far they might reach or how many lives they might touch. So I guess the point of my story, other than bragging on the remarkable young man that boy turned out to be, is that we should never pass by the chance to stop and help someone else. By stopping the car that day to offer a young boy a ride, she threw a pebble in the pond and the ripples have touched more lives than we may ever know.