You Never Know
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my
class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like
he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, ‘Why would
anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my
friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on..
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran
at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he
landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in
the grass about ten feet from him.
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart
went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking
for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his
glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks. They really should get
‘He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’ There was a big smile on his
face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped
him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out,
he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.
He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never
hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home,
and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool
kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my
He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle,
the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday
morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I
stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious
muscles with this pile of books everyday!
‘He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four
years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began
to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to
Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would
never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor and I was going for
business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about
being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so
glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.
On Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those
guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and
actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all
the girls loved him.
Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days.
But I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked
him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’ He looked
at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.
‘Thanks,’ he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began
‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through
those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a
coach…but mostly your friends… I am here to tell all of you that
being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am
going to tell you a story.’
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we
met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how
he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later
and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a
little smile. ‘Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy
told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and Dad looking at
me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I
realize its depth.
Everywhere you go you have an impact. You decide wither it’s a good
one or a negative one.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture
you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse. God puts us
all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. Look for
Good in others.
I do not know who the “I” is in the story. I received it as an email many years ago.
I just think it’s an incredible reminder of the impact we have on others.