The Baby’s Not Dying 743.2

My commentary about caring more and judging less by giving a few dollars to panhandlers generated lots of letters, most disagreeing with me. Here’s another story likely to agitate some of you.

A man named Jack was rushing home to tell his family about a $1,000 bonus check he’d unexpectedly received at work.

Before he got to his car, a desperate-looking woman holding a baby who looked quite sick asked him for a few dollars. She said her child was dying of leukemia. Jack reached into his pocket for some loose bills and accidentally pulled out his bonus check.

He looked at the check and then at the baby. Acting spontaneously, he endorsed it to the woman on the spot. “Use this to do what you can for your baby.”

When he told his family what he’d done, his wife was stone silent and his teenage son ridiculed him.

Deflated, Jack said, “We don’t need the money. It felt like the right thing to do.”

A week later, his son triumphantly waved a newspaper article in his face. It told of a local woman with a baby who was arrested for scamming people. “This is the lady you gave the money to, isn’t it?” he chided.

“Yes,” Jack replied, suddenly beaming with joy.

“What are you smiling about?” his son demanded. “She made a fool of you.”

“Yes, but there’s something much more important,” Jack said, “I’m so relieved the baby’s not dying.”

Red-faced with anger, his son declared, “You’re an even bigger fool than I thought.”

After a long, thoughtful pause, Jack’s wife embraced her husband lovingly. “I’m so proud to be married to a man with such a generous heart.”

Who was right – the son or the wife?

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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