Stephen was as good a child as they came; he was always helping around the house, he did his homework and he was always willing to run errands for his mother. He was often thought of as the neighbourhood helper because he was always willing to help anyone in need. The neighbours would be glad when he offered his help and they often accepted it; but that was before he started talking about it.
He was walking down the road one day when old Mr. Fleming called out to him to help him get his dog from under the house.
“Sure Mr Fleming, no problem,” Stephen replied. “I am always happy to help because I will be blessed when I do. Just the other day, I helped Miss Susan to rake her garden too.”
Mr. Fleming was grateful but he didn’t make a comment then. Stephen was going home when he was again called to by another neighbour.
“Stephen, can you fetch some water over by Miss Johnson’s house for me please?” asked Miss Taylor. “I would go but my hand hurts.”
“That’s alright Miss Taylor. I am always happy to help someone in need because I am a kind person.”
Miss Taylor raised her eyebrows at him but she said nothing else. When Stephen got to Miss Johnson’s house he found her in the backyard.
“Miss Johnson, Miss Taylor asked me to fetch some water for her because her hand is sick. She can’t get it herself and I did because I am a kind hearted person.”
Miss Johnson looked at Stephen. “Stephen, I have heard you mention several times that you are a kind, decent and friendly person. Why do you keep saying it?”
“Because it is true. I am always happy to help.”
“I know, and that is a good thing. But you don’t need to walk around boasting about how kind you are. Did you know that was boastful?”
“No Ma’am,” Stephen replied, now hanging his head down in shame.
“Whenever you do something nice for someone, just do it. You don’t have to talk about it all the time, or even be telling it to others. Just do it because you want to.” Miss Johnson smiled at the young man who stood there listening to her intently. She gave him the water and then a slice of pie she had just baked. He smiled and took it from her and thanked her.
Miss Johnson saw Stephen several times after that, but she never heard him talking about what he did for others again.
Be kind to others and be sincere about it; the purpose is defeated and the blessing lost if the deed is constantly spoken of.
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