The Fork in the Road

Jim - Kansas City, Kansas
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” – Amelia Earhart

In my life, I have been surrounded by wonderful friends, family, and peers. However, there are people that grow up without food, water, or even parents. There are also those who mature with everything they will ever need. So why don’t they, and we, help those who are born into misfortune?

In this era, people are more apprehensive about delighting themselves prior to others. If they would cut off a small portion of what they have, others around them would be tremendously appreciative. Nowadays, people don’t grasp that when they pass away, they won’t be remembered for what they had in the bank, they will be remembered for what they had in the heart.

We all have a decision when we come to the fork in the road. Will we take the road less traveled and stick up for others? Or will we go with the group, and take the path worn down from the majority of the travelers, the path where cruelty to others is welcome as long as it is humorous? We can see down neither road, but on the inside, we know which path we should take.

One person, my friend’s step-father Kelly, choose to break away from the majority. Nick and I were riding to his house to play, and Kelly saw an elderly man walking his bike up a hill, sweating fanatically. Kelly did what no other driver who passed the man before him had; he drove over to the man, and asked him if he was in need of help. The man indeed was; one of the gears on his bike had broken. Kelly, being kindhearted, told the man he could ride with us, cleared the front seat of the car, and put the gentleman’s bike in the trunk. The man entered the car, and Kelly made him feel like he was among old time friends as he drove the man home.

During the trip to the man’s apartment, I observed the way Kelly treated the gentleman. That night, while I was praying, I reflected over the drive, and decided that it was time I started acting more like Kelly, it was time I started trying treating others just as compassionately as I would treat myself.

Every day, someone chooses to take the road less traveled. Every day, someone puts their “reputation” on the line in order to do the right thing. These people are walking in the footsteps of God; they are choosing to do as Martin Luther King Jr. asked of them in his “I Have a Dream” speech. These people are breaking away from the majority, treating all others equally, choosing to treat others as they wish to be treated. Are you?