“Remember to always share with those who are less fortunate than you,” Mr. Tembo said just as the school bell rang to end the school day session. Next week there will be an academic trip to an elderly shelter home just a few kilometers away. Adrian picked up one copy of the charity collection form from the teacher’s desk and tucked it into the side pocket of his bag. It was the beginning of what he termed as ‘an actively engaging weekend.’“Papa, Mama, I need you to contribute to this charity fair we’re doing for the elderly.” His family was not well financially, and the parents had put an effort not to show it off to their son.
“I’ll tell you what, son,” Papa said, “I don’t have much to contribute, but since it’s for charity, is it okay with your school if I offered a coat as part of the donation? The cold season is coming, and we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads. Am sure a coat will help to keep one of the elderly warm.”
“It’s okay, Papa.”
He went into his bedroom and came back with one of his best coats.
“But Papa, this is one of your best coats!”
“I’ll tell you a secret, son. If you give your best in life, then it’s what you’ll get in return. No good deed goes unrewarded in this world.”
“What about you, Mama?”
“Come and see me on the morning of the visit. I’ll have something prepared.”
Adrian’s target was to raise around sh 2000. After all, that seemed more than enough for him as an eight-year-old child. So he set out on a Saturday morning to start his collection. He began with his immediate neighbors, whom we’re philanthropic, and offered him sh 200 each for the first five houses.
“One more sh 1000 to go,” he smiled to himself.
Nearby, three was a newly opened supermarket which attracted most of the ’rich folks, and he marked it as a sweet spot for his charity campaign. On his way back home, he had a couple of questions that he intended to ask his parents.
“Can I ask you a question, Mama?”
“Yes, you can.”
“Why is it that people who seem well off have a problem with giving? Is it that all of them have problems, or are they selfish because all they could give is sh 20 each person. Some even just ignored me.”
Her mom, startled by that question, had to think of a clear answer which couldn’t distort the world’s perception of the child.
“I’ll tell you this,” she began, “First, people who are contempt with what they have always found themselves seeking for more. They find it hard to give unless it’s for their selfish benefit. Unless you appreciate what you have, then you’ll be blinded by your desires.”
“Second, never judge people as a group. Judge each of them as an individual. Not every one man’s doing is the action of everyone.”
“Third, always be kind to another person. Kindness warms a cold heart.”
“With that am going to prepare some good pancakes that morning which you can take to the elderly. A good meal brings people together. It’s what your grandmother taught me.”
“Please never forget my words, okay, Adrian?”
“I promise to never will,” Adrian replied with a hug.