Strangers’ kindness reinforces life lessons

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I was born on an eastern North Carolina tenant farm in 1944. My dad and mama raised tobacco, corn, peanuts, soybeans, cotton for market and a huge garden to feed us and our friends. About 20 black families helped plant and harvest everything each year. My mama prepared the meals for everyone before she went to work. My job was to cook it and serve it up equally. It was a good, happy time for all, respectful and kind.

I was taught early: “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you;” “Life is what you make it;” and “You can get more flies with honey than vinegar.” It took awhile for me to fully understand the last one.

I went on to become a respected intensive coronary care head RN. After that I loved travel and deeded real estate sales, which I became quite good at nationally and internationally. My clients referred their family and friends to me. I found out those old sayings and a smile worked!

My 77-year-old husband Michael was in Piggly Wiggly in Bailey a few days ago when he saw a 30-ish black man wearing a nice T-shirt with a lion on the front. He complimented him and told him he was a Leo. My husband was wearing an old Jimmy Buffett T-shirt. They exchanged names — his was David — then hubby asked him if he realized he was named after a king...King David.

After chatting about that, the younger man said “Let’s go into the bathroom and exchange shirts!” Mike objected that his shirt was old, David said, “No man, I want you to have it!”

Mike came home beaming as he told me. I’m sure the other man left feeling good also. Thank you, David, for being so very kind when you didn’t have to be. God bless you!

Months before this I was shopping with a small purse in my pocket. When I got into my vehicle the purse fell out. There was a teenage young black girl sitting in her parents’ car who saw it fall. She and her parents tracked me down and brought the purse to my home. Money and all cards were still there. They wouldn’t take a reward!

God bless those parents for teaching their daughter to do the right thing. Thank you all so very much for the kind blessing you gave to me!

Linda and Michael Cameron