Nobody is in our life by accident. Everyone we meet in life is part of a big big lesson for us.
Many of us may have heard this story before. Here is my own different retelling of the story of “The Brick”:
A young man had just finished his work that night. It was raining and as he was driving his old Pontiac on his way home, suddenly a brick flew towards his car and hit his car door with a loud bang.
He slammed on the car’s brakes and after it had come to a halt he stormed out of the car furiously to look at the damage to his old car.
Standing next to her own brand new Mercedes is an old lady who had just thrown the brick at his car. He shouted at her:
“Look what you’ve done to my car! Madam, you’ll have to pay for it!”
The old lady, feeling remorseful for her rash act of throwing the brick, said apologetically:
“Sir, I am sorry but no driver is stopping to help me with my car’s flat tire and I have no choice but to throw a brick towards any passing car.”
The young man could see the pitiful eyes of the old lady. He began to feel sympathetic for her. “It’s raining and this old lady really needs help with her car tire.” he thought to himself.
He turned to her and said:
“I’m sorry too for not knowing that you needed help. By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”
And he started to change the car tire for the old lady without further ado.
The old lady said that she was from St. Louis and she kept thanking him for his kindness.
After the tire was changed, she wanted to pay him for both the dent on his car and for the changing of her car tire.
He told her that he was sorry to not have noticed her need for help when he was driving past her car as he had a hard day at work and was in a rush to get home.
He also told her not to pay him and that if she really wanted to, she could pay it forward and help the next person who needs her help.
They parted ways that night and as he walked back to his old Pontiac and looked at the dent on his car door, he thought to himself:
“The dent on my car I can knock it back myself. It’s no big deal to me. What is more important is that I have done a little good deed today to help someone who needed help. And that brick has made me learn a lesson.”
The moral of the story is “Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!”
In fact, later on, the young man never really repaired the dent in his car. He left the dent there to remind himself of the above message.
The story has not ended yet.
Here is the continuation.
That night, the old lady stopped at a small cafe for some food. A sweet-looking and well-mannered waitress came to serve her the food. The old lady noticed that she was at least 8 months into pregnancy.
The cafe was crowded but she was the only waitress there. She was cheerful outwardly while serving food to her customers but the old lady could somehow sense that she was going through a rough patch and needed help in some way or other.
And the old lady remembered what Bryan had just said. So when the bill came, the old lady paid with a $100 note and quietly left the cafe. When the waitress came back with the change for the bill, the old lady had already left. The old lady had written a little note on the table napkin for the waitress:
“Someone helped me just an hour ago. I am paying it forward to someone who needs help.”
Under the napkins were four more $100 notes. Seeing what the old lady had left for her, the waitress was moved to tears and choked up.
That night, when the waitress reached home after her work, her husband was already sound asleep. As she lay down on the bed beside him, she remembered what the old lady had written on the little note. And she so much wanted to tell her husband that he did not have to worry about the baby expenses for now. And so she whispered to him:
“Everything is taken care of now. I love you Bryan Anderson and good night.”
As the saying goes, “What goes around comes around.”
“Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.” — Charles Glassman