A guard kicked out a homeless man sleeping on a bench in the cold in front of his employer’s office. But when his employer stepped out of the building at that point, the man froze in a daze, catching a glimpse of the beggar’s familiar face.
After Aaron Stewart ran from the orphanage, he couldn’t get a job. So the young man ended up on the streets and wandered the entire city, sometimes in search of money to keep him fed and occasionally a refuge where he wouldn’t be tossed out.
This was certainly not how Aaron had envisioned his adult life to be, but the money he collected by the end of every day was sufficient to keep his stomach full, and he didn’t expect anything more.
One morning, he was sitting on the sidewalk next to an office building. Several people were walking up and down the street, and in and out of the building, so he managed to get at least a penny. However, that certainly wasn’t sufficient for him. He only had a few cents in his pocket, and if he wasn’t planning to sleep hungry, he’d need a bit more.
As he sat there, hoping to collect more money, he noticed an older man in a tuxedo approaching him. He didn’t offer him money, unlike most of the other passers-by, but instead took a seat across from him and politely inquired, “Why are you sitting here? Isn’t it making you feel a little uneasy?”
Aaron looked around, perplexed, to see if the question was directed at him. He wasn’t used to having strangers speak to him. People usually passed him by with a look of pity or, more often, a look of rejection and disdain in their eyes.
So not knowing how to respond to the gentleman’s query, Aaron stayed silent. But the man spoke up again, “You know you’re young, and you can do much better. Don’t throw away your life like that!”
At this point, Aaron spoke up. “I don’t understand, sir. Are you making fun of me because you know how helpless I am?”
“Certainly not, young man! All I’m saying is that everyone should have a goal in life. You know the ship will continue to walk on the waves, unsure of where it is going, until it crashes into the rocks. If you don’t have a purpose in life, you’ll roam until you’ve destroyed yourself.”
Okay, Aaron, that philosophy isn’t going to help you. You should ask him for money if you don’t want to go to bed hungry today. He’ll just keep chatting and wasting your time if you don’t stop him. Aaron reflected. But just then, he spotted the stranger reaching into his pocket to take something out hastily.
Aaron’s face brightened as he assumed the man was going to dole out some money, but as the man suddenly gripped his chest and his face grew pale, Aaron sensed something wasn’t right. “What’s wrong? Do you need something?” he asked, concerned.
“Wat…Water…,” the man croaked softly.
Aaron couldn’t understand a word. “Sir, could you just repeat that? I’m sorry, but I didn’t hear anything.”
“Water…Get me some water!” The man said, taking pills out of his pocket. Aaron dashed to the nearest store and handed the saleswoman all of the money he had collected. “Please give me a bottle of water!”
The girl looked at him incredulously and held out a bottle. Aaron snatched up the water bottle and dashed over to the man sitting on the bench. The man took a tablet right away, but his condition did not improve. He was short of breath and soon collapsed on the ground.
“Please dial 911 for an ambulance. A man has passed out here!” Aaron kept pleading with passers-by to call an ambulance, but his pleas were ignored. As a result, he dashed to a nearby store and requested that the saleswoman call an ambulance for the old guy.
After the ambulance arrived and the older man was safely taken to the hospital, Aaron went back to his place, hoping the man would recover soon.
Three months later…
It was winter and this season was the most difficult for Aaron. The entire area would be covered with snow, and he’d have a difficult time finding a place to rest.
Aaron’s health had already begun to suffer due to the cold, and he could sense that he was losing his ability to walk. He barely even made it to the bench next to the large office building and just collapsed there.
Soon the guard from the office building approached him and attempted to drive him away.
“No…P-L-E-A-S-E…” Aaron murmured, his voice gradually weakening and losing its firmness.
“Look! It’s an office area, and you can’t sleep here! Move fast!” The guard ordered, utterly insensitive to the homeless man’s pleas. But Aaron didn’t respond at all. All he could see was a dim vision of his surroundings, which gradually faded into darkness, and he fell into a deep sleep before he could even utter a word.
The guard tried to drag him off the bench, but his employer came out of the office building just then. One look at Aaron, and the rich man froze. “Get him in my car,” he ordered the guard.
The guard was a little dumbfounded, but he didn’t resist. He loaded the young man into the car before the rich man entered and drove away.
Upon arrival at his house, the owner, Cyrus Barney, ordered Aaron to be taken to the guest room and directed the servants to take proper care of him.
Aaron had never slept so peacefully in his whole life. When he opened his eyes, he was surprised to find himself in a soft, warm bed in a large, spacious room. Suddenly, he heard a voice. “You’re awake!” He turned around to see a girl waiting at the door, holding a new set of clothes.
“Where am I? How did I get here?” Aaron asked, perplexed.
“Well, you’re at the home of Mr. Cyrus Barney. He was the one who brought you here,” the girl replied, handing over the clothes. “For now, wash and change. A hairdresser will come in an hour.”
The young man did not understand what was going on but obeyed. Coming out of his room, he heard a whispering sound. He followed the commotion to a room where he spotted an elderly man conversing with his wife.
“Why did you bring him here, Cyrus?” The woman was indignant.
“He saved my life, Linda. Don’t you remember the day I was rushed to the hospital because of an asthma attack? He bought me a bottle of water with his money, while others just passed me by.”
“Then you could have just thanked him! Why drag him here?”
At this point, Aaron quickly realized who the elderly man was and walked into the room. “I apologize for troubling you. I was just about to leave. Thank you for your assistance, Mr. Barney. It was very thoughtful of you.”
“Oh, no, wait!” Cyrus stopped him. “We can’t let you leave like that! You saved my life, young man. What’s your name?”
“Aaron…Aaron Stewart,” Aaron replied timidly.
“Nice to meet you, Aaron. This is my wife, Linda. Please come join us for lunch.”
“Yes, please,” another voice added. Aaron soon saw a young girl entering the room. “I’m Lisa!” she introduced herself. “Thanks for saving my dad. Please accept this lunch as a way to return your generosity.”
Aaron smiled as he gazed at her. Then he followed everyone to the dining room, where he told Lisa about his encounter with Cyrus, including how he lived on the street and how he was treated.
Aaron stayed at Cryus’ house for several weeks. Many of Cyrus’ acquaintances didn’t understand this, and some even envied him. On the other hand, Aaron and Lisa had an apparent connection that blossomed into something more.
Soon after, Cyrus hired Aaron to work for him, and Aaron quickly proved himself worthy of the position. Eventually, he married Lisa, and the pair welcomed a beautiful baby girl. Cyrus was pleased and in no time, he transferred the management of his entire firm to Aaron and Lisa.
20 years later…
An expensive car drove up to the park, and two people got out of it. They gently sat down on a bench and looked around the park for a while.
“So, what do you think is your purpose in life, Clara?” Aaron asked his daughter.
“I don’t know, dad” the young girl replied. “Why are you asking me such a boring question?”
Aaron smiled at her and patted her head. “Always keep in mind, Clara, that the ship, not knowing where it is heading, will continue to walk on the waves until it crashes on the rocks. If you don’t have a purpose in life, you’ll roam until you’ve destroyed yourself. So everyone should have a meaning and purpose in life, understood?”
“Umm, okay, dad. If you say so,” The small girl nodded and smiled at her father.
What can we learn from this story?
Kindness begets kindness. Aaron saved Cryus’ life, and Cryus returned the generosity by helping Aaron.
Be kind and help others. Aaron could have ignored Cyrus and walked away, but he didn’t. He spent his last dollar, called an ambulance for him, and saved his life.