This article is provided by Brian Marling of Neighbourhood DLC – Canada’s #1 Mortgage Team 905.372.7222
In some ways 1996 doesn’t seem that long ago, yet in other ways it seems like another life ago. But then, like now, there were those who were prospering financially and those who were suffering financially. And like now, those who suffered financially usually did so in quiet obscurity struggling to make ends meet & trying to keep it all together somehow.
One particular family was about 4 years into a stretch that lasted 5 years of less than full time employment. With 3 children aged 6 and younger it was tough to say the least just to keep everything afloat. I guess it was inevitable that the phone calls would start coming. You know the ones I mean. The ones you wished you hadn’t picked up. The ones asking when payments would be made and suggesting what might happen if they weren’t. Then if that weren’t enough, there were the letters in the mail that just never seemed to end. What great despair that started to set in when eventually the letters didn’t even get opened anymore – what was the use?
In the midst of all of this there were 3 young girls who needed to be protected from the negative fallout caused by financial pressure. Dad knew that things would turn around at some point. After all he was a man of faith and he knew God would intervene sooner or later. The girls were young enough not to notice that gifts at Christmas & birthdays were often bought at second hand shops or yard sales – nothing wrong with that. Mom would clean them up and they would be received with joy. Why did no one seem to notice? Why did no one seem to care?
One thing for certain, when money is scarce we are forced to be creative. Many nights for that family were spent playing board games, reading great stories or going for walks. Picnics and long playtimes in the park were common place. These are the things people do when they don’t have money. Hmmm, doesn’t really sound that bad, does it?
Anyhow, on one particular outing they decided to go for a drive to a neighbouring town and visit a different park – a change of scenery does good sometimes. It was early fall and the colours were just starting to change. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. They were climbing the play centre, swinging on the swings and kicking around old soccer balls. And of course mom had packed another famous picnic lunch complete with an old blanket to sit on.
As they were enjoying the picnic and the warm sun on their faces, dad happened to look up into the second story window of a hardware store across the street from the park. There hanging in the window and glistening from the sun was a beautiful purple bicycle. In fact it was a girls bike complete with training wheels already attached. The high handle bars and tassles dangling from the hand grips made it irresistible. Immediately dad had the thought that every kid deserves a new bicycle at some point, don’t they. His heart yearned to be able to just go over there and purchase it no problem. His present financial reality however didn’t allow him to go to McDonalds let alone buy bicycles.
Why he excused himself and started walking across the road he wasn’t exactly certain, but something was telling him to at least check it out up close. Up the creaky stairs he went to the second floor showroom and proceeded straight to the little purple bike. His heart started to ache and a tear formed in his eye as he realized there was no way he could afford it. Feelings of inadequacy and despair started to flood his being. “Can I help you”, came the polite voice from over his shoulder. Oh, if only you could he thought. When he turned around he realized it was the owner of the store speaking with him, and in the brief moment before he spoke the dad decided that he had nothing to lose by asking, and so for the sake of his little girl he did. With a quiver in his voice that came from the humbling nature of his situation he said, “I honestly can’t afford this. Is there anyway you could accept less?”
It’s hard to expect good things when you’re down & out, but what an amazing act of kindness that was shown to a stranger that day. “How much can you afford”, came the reply? An amount was mentioned by the dad which the shop owner immediately agreed to. Wow, finally a break. A few tears started to fall – he couldn’t stop them, but they were tears of joy. What great excitement ensued as dad came back across the street with a beautiful shiny new purple bicycle. Does anything bless a parents heart more than to see a smile of pure joy from the face of their child. What great times were had on that Little Purple Bicycle as each of the 3 sisters eventually learned to ride from the same bike. To this day that Little Purple Bicycle hangs on the wall of his garage as a constant reminder of a strangers kindness & God’s blessing.
So what’s the point of this months article? Simply this: it isn’t, nor should it be, always about the money. Sometimes all a person needs is to be shown a little kindness. So go today & show a stranger a random act of kindness. You will probably never know what an amazing blessing you have been. By the way, in case you didn’t figure it out, I was that father and I would like to officially say ‘Thanks’ to that kindhearted shop owner.
Here at Neighbourhood, & the home of the Brian Marling Mortgage Team, we are concerned for the total well-being of our clients. That’s why we are taking the years of experience from our award winning office and offering a series of FREE Seminars to our clients and their friends & families and to the public at large. The seminars, entitled ‘Financial Fitness’, will be offered free of charge and will cover all the secrets of successful personal financial freedom. If interested please call our office at 905.372.7222 to reserve your spot as seating will be limited.