Those with less are often the most generous…
I was very humbled today. This little boy flew into the elevator this morning as the doors were closing, leaving his mother behind. We we’re on the 25th floor going down but we stopped several times. He was scared and crying without his mom and I learned he didn’t speak English. I held his hand and told him we would find her - in the best broken Spanish I could. It took only five minutes to get to the lobby but it seemed like much longer to him, and to her, I am sure.
We got there and waited, not sure if she would come down or if we should go back up. Deciding the lobby was a safer bet, I started showing him pictures on my phone of the dogs and the sheep and he quickly forgot he was "lost." Just a couple of minutes later his mom, looking frantic, came out of the elevators with tears in her eyes. She also didn’t speak English but in the human language of compassion we understood each other. It was clear to me she was grateful I’d stayed with him and it was clear to her I would have done nothing else.
But then, this lovely lady reached into her purse, which was old, and into her even more well-worn wallet and pulled out a five dollar bill to offer me. I noticed it was the only bill in that wallet. I also then noticed both of them were in clothes and shoes that had clearly seen better days. I told her not to bother and she still tried to force it in my hands. We went back and forth until she was clear I would not take it. But then her son reached into that same purse, pulled out a dinosaur, missing half its tail and most of its painted color, gave it a kiss and offered it to me. Both mother and son wanted to offer me something of value for a simple effort to help.
I was humbled by their gestures of gratitude for something so simple that I hope any person would do. That what little they had was worth giving to a stranger simply as a thank you.