This I Believe

Elisha - Grand Isle, Maine
Entered on May 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

It was only at my pépère’s funeral when I heard of this story. The musty church was filled to its capacity with all the grieving, sobbing individuals who adored him to pay their last respects. A family member approached the alter to recite a story; the story that inspired me to be a better person.

Before I go on, you need to know this one piece of information. In my small town there was a diner in which the owner’s name was identical to my pépère’s, “Guy”.

“Ring! Ring!” the phone sounded. Answering the phone my pépère heard a man’s voice. “Allo, Guy, comment ça vas? I’d like to get a sandwich aujourd’hui,” asking how my pépère was and telling him he’d like a sandwich in his thick French accent.

“Bien, okay, qu’est-ce que vous aimez sur votre sandwich?” replied my pépère questioning what he would like on the sandwich.

The man stated what he would like on his sandwich and they said their goodbyes. My pépère rose and went to the kitchen to fulfill the order. Remember, my pépère did not own a restaurant.

Finally, he returned the phone call to the man who had previously called him. The man who phoned my pépère mistakenly dialed the incorrect number. He went to the diner (who never got the call) and became confused that his sandwich order was never received. He returned home. Meanwhile he was not aware that the Guy he did make a call to actually filled the order! He was surprised and flattered that my pépère actually made his meal, putting whatever he had aside to kindly prepare a sandwich.

This story showed me that even though you may have nothing to do, or you are piled up to your ears with errands, a simple act of kindness can make a difference. I believe my pépère was only doing a good deed for another individual being the kind man he was, doing what he could to help anyone in need.

Just seeing my pépère performing these simple acts of kindness has affected me deeply. During the time I have lived and could understand the concept of being kind, I have learned that not everyone is as polite or kind as they should be. Either way, that person that you thought wasn’t very nice may not have been as kind as they should have. However, it could be the result of that person just having a bad day. You have to think to yourself; “I’ve had rough days where maybe I wasn’t as nice to that person as I should have been.” The “not-so-nice” person could be having a bad day where everything is upside-down and convoluted. Because of this, I believe that when you come across someone with a chip on their shoulder or they are just confused, remind yourself that doing something simple to brighten a person’s day could help them out tremendously, even if it’s only a sandwich.