Have you ever given a little bit of yourself to help someone and later (maybe years later) reaped unexpected dividends? Recently I enjoyed dinner at an elegant restaurant on the San Diego bay on a fine summer evening; my favorite seafood dinner of scallops; gourmet pastries for dessert; conversation with some long-time friends and new folks — a memorable evening. Why? Because I once taught a young man piano for a summer. His parents included me in the celebration because I spent a few hours that one summer helping a nine-year-old kid play new songs.
The kid is grown and in medical school now, studying to be a neurosurgeon. I got to catch up with him and learn what a fine young man he is. He is handsome, isn’t he? And he still plays the piano.
Many had far, far, far more input into his life than I’ve had. I’m thankful I was able to spend a few hours at the piano with Vincent, though, and have a smidgeon of input into his life. What I want to see more clearly is that pouring myself out for someone else is really what makes life rich. I want to say yes to that more often.
A few days after the bayside dinner, I spent a few hours watching a baby during a friend’s wedding. We read about rubber duckys and played peek-a-boo and then I rocked him to sleep.
Maybe he will grow up to be a neurosurgeon, too. Whether or not unexpected dividends ever show up, I’m glad I spent the evening with this little guy.
How about you? Have you invested in someone and been thanked later in an unexpected way? Tell us about it in the comments below!