Several years ago, I was rushing around trying to some last minute Christmas shopping. I was stressed out and not thinking very fondly of the weather right then. It was dark, cold, and wet in the parking lot.
As I was loading my car up, I noticed that I was missing a receipt that I needed. So mumbling under my breath, I retraced my steps to the mall entrance. As I was searching the pavement for my lost receipt I heard a faint sobbing.
The crying was coming from a poorly dressed boy of about 12 years old. he was short and thin. He had no coat. he was just wearing a ragged flannel shirt to protect him from the cold night air.
Oddly enough he was holding a $100 bill in his hand. Thinking he had gotten lost from his parents I asked him what was wrong.
he told me his sad story. he said that he came from a large family. He had 3 brothers and 4 sisters. His father had died when he was 9 and his mother was poorly educated and worked 2 full time jobs. she made very little to support her family, nevertheless she managed to skimp and save $200 to buy her children some Christmas presents (which she wasn't able to do very year).
The young boy had been dropped off by his mother on her way to her second job. He was to use the money to buy presents for all his siblings and save just enought to take the bus home. He had not even entered the mall when an older boy grabbed one of the $100 bills out of his hand and disappeared into the night.
"Why didn't you scream for help?" I asked.
The boy said "I did."
"And nobody came to help you?" I queried.
The boy stared at the sidewalk and sadly shook his head "No."
"how loud did you scream?" i inquired.
The soft-spoken boy meekly looked up and whispered "Help me!"
I realized absolutely no one could have heard that poor boy cry for help.
So I grabbed his other $100 bill and ran back to my car.