The Wal-Mart Man

Molly - Huntington, Indiana
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that all people deserve a friend, someone who loves and cares for them. No matter whom they are or what they look like. People need love to survive, no matter what else they have. The richest man in the world would never be happy without someone who cared about him. Many times the people who have the least appreciate what they have the most. I once met a man at Wal-Mart. He looked funny and acted strange. As I walked out of the store, I saw this little man. Those big, sad eyes looked as if they were searching for something that they couldn’t find. He looked lost and alone, like he was missing something. When he saw me his eyes lit up. They had a beautiful hidden sparkle to them. When he realized that I noticed him, he quickly looked down. As I got closer to him he looked back up at me and mumbled something. I couldn’t understand his words, but his gestures were very clear. This man wanted a friend. I must have looked friendly enough, because he picked me. He reached out to me–he was longing for someone to be there for him. As I walked through the sliding glass door he grabbed my hand. I just smiled at him and let him walk with me. It was a strange feeling knowing this man I had never met before seemed to care so much about me. He walked with me to the car before his mom made him let me go. That one smile was all it took to make a new friend that I will remember forever. He just wanted me to show him some love and friendship. Even though he did not know the words for what he wanted or how to show them, his movements said it all. I have only seen him a few times since then, but every time I do I have to smile and I get a smile in return. The need for someone to understand him showed in every little line on his face. From the moment I saw him, he struck something special in my heart. Many people ignored him and walked right by, but I could not do that. I could not let a human being stand there so lost, so sad. I believe the worst punishment someone could face is to be rejected by everyone. To never feel loved. That man just wanted a friend, someone to be there for him. We could all take a lesson in how to appreciate the things and people we have. We value material items too much. We need good relationships to truly be happy. No matter how it is shown, through gestures or words, everyone needs someone else to care. Friendship is something everyone needs and deserves.