WE bought our son Seth a new bike for his graduation from Grade 6.
His old bike was almost dangerously too small, and he was getting ridiculed for it. Funds were a little tight, so we pooled with his grandparents. He never had a new bike before, and he was beside himself at how beautiful it was.
Maybe it was too beautiful, because the second day he took it to school, someone cut the lock and stole it.
I posted an ad on Kijiji with the story of the bike, with the promise of reward for anyone who had information. I stated how we had to pool with his grandparents to buy it, in the vain hope the thief might feel a pang of guilt if they ever came across the ad. No one came forward with any information.
A kindly couple came across the ad, though, and contacted me. They told me it had touched their hearts, that they had come into a little money recently and would appreciate the opportunity to show my son people are capable of the opposite of the violation demonstrated by the thief. They wanted to buy my son a bike.
I tried to graciously refuse. In good conscience, I made it clear we weren’t in poverty, and the reason we were short on cash at the moment was we had recently bought a house and were waiting for the financial dust to settle.
But the couple would have none of that. The point wasn’t charity — the point was to demonstrate kindness to my son, to give a boy back something that was taken from him.
With pride pushed aside, my wife and I accepted the couple’s kind offer. Under the pretense of sizing him for any used models we might buy in the future, we went to the bike store. He tried a few, told me his preferences and was prepared to leave when the couple appeared and gave him an envelope with enough money to buy the bicycle he wanted.
My son’s joy was obvious. The couple looked very pleased with their decision. My wife shed a tear or two, and the couple quickly left. They didn’t loiter and bask in our appreciation but went away satisfied.
As much as this has brought immeasurable joy and appreciation to my son, I think it gave my wife and I just as much, and a little more faith in human kindness to boot. We can’t wait for the opportunity to pay it forward.
— Don Woligroski