During the holiday season back in December, I was flying an Air Canada flight when they made an annoucement that they would be coming through the cabin to collect spare change for the Make a Wish Foundation.
“Noble thing, but kind of a gimmick,” I thought. As the attendent approached I avoided eye contact. I don’t usually carry spare change and besides, I want my giving to be tax-receipted I reasoned.
Without missing a beat, the 8-year-old boy, an unaccompanied minor, sitting beside me reached into his pocket, pulled out $1.25 in coins and put his hand out into the aisle to deposit into the attendent’s envelope.
The attendent was caught off guard. “That’s very kind,” she said to the little boy as she accepted his donation, mostly used to the odd business man throwing 5 or 10 her way. Both she and I had one of those moments were you shake your head and ask yourself, did that just happen!? Wasn’t the kid watching a movie? How does he even have a concept of what charitable giving is all about at his age?
A little boy taught me a lot that day about what it means to be generous, respond to needs and have compassion for the needy. Some days you realize you still have a long way to go in character development.