Sunday, May 11, 2014

You are my sunshine

I recently read a post about "charity". It reminded me of a story I heard in Relief Society several years ago.

Our teacher had been talking about how we can and need to be charitable to all people, including those who stop us on the street asking for money. She shared a story about her brother.

One day, he was walking down Y street in downtown X when a man stopped him, asking for money. Her brother was already in a foul mood, did not want to give his hard-earned money to anyone, and told the man he had nothing to give.

Later that evening, as the stresses of his day calmed down, he began thinking about what he had done in denying help to the man who asked for assistance. He felt saddened to remember that he had not helped. In his mind, he made this commitment: the next time anyone stopped and asked him for money, he would give half of whatever he had in his wallet.

Days and weeks went by before someone again stopped him, asking for money. This brother had just cashed a very large check and had a wallet full of many large bills. Staying true to himself, he opened up his wallet and gave half of everything he had to the man standing before him.

The asker was dumbfounded by the large amount of money he had just been handed. He said to his benefactor, "Sir. I thank you. And, I wish I had some way to repay your kindness, but I do not. May I sing you a song to tell you 'thank you'?"

Her brother nodded his head in the affirmative.

The asker then began singing "You are my sunshine", all verses, to this man on the street. While it was uncomfortable for him, being serenaded by a complete stranger on the street, he allowed this humble man to thank him in the way that he could.

I think this is a great story. Helping others always helps us, too.