In life, making impacts and putting smiles on people’s faces goes beyond doling out cash. There are more ways to lift people’s spirits than giving them money.
Yes, money matters a great deal, but other things other than money matter too. You might not be able to reach out to every needy person in the world, but reach out to that one needy person you come in contact with, giving them love, care, attention, and affection.
This is exactly what Morgan Wheeler of Fayetteville, West Virginia did. She became the sun that brightened the life of an old disabled veteran she met in the parking lot of Walmart.
Wheeler had gone shopping at Walmart like every other shopper that day, and she was about to drive out of the parking lot when she saw a man she believed to be in his 60s or 70s clad in old government issued combat boots, trying so hard to wheel himself across the parking lot.
On reflex, she waited in the car for him to pass by, seeing that he had stopped to take a break, not realizing she was about to drive out. When he noticed he was the cause of the delay in her driving out, he apologetically waved and rolled forward three more times before taking another pause.
You would have expected Wheeler to start her car and be on her way right? No, she didn’t do that. Instead, the 21-year-old packed her car, turned the engine off, walked over to the old man and introduced herself before asking if she could assist him in any way.
Irritably, the old man replied in the negative, claiming he was doing just fine. Wheeler explained that even though he exuded pride, she didn’t allow his action and words deter her. She had stubbornly insisted and went ahead to give him a push, while initiating a conversation with him, telling him a little about herself.
Wheeler continues talking even as the duo got into the store, this time she pushed him to tell her about himself. By the time they got to the produce section, she asked him to talk to her about himself. He looked at her reluctantly, before he began to tell her that he lived in Sod- Lincoln County, and had just lost his wife.
He gave her a list which had just four things written on it: Bread, Bananas, Peanut butter and Soup. Wheeler continued talking as she picked the items on his list, and asked about other necessary items such as Butter, Eggs, and Milk.
His response caught her off-guard, he told her there was no way he could get them home, without them getting spooky before he got home. This led her to ask how he got to the store in the first place; he explained that he wheeled himself in between breaks, till he got to 119 and hitched a ride with a trucker to the parking lot.
Against his wishes, Wheeler paid for his groceries before pushing him outside to wait for the taxi. The old man whose mood had brightened, couldn’t stop thanking her. Wheeler didn’t bother him again about his life’s history; she didn’t even ask for his name.
Before closing the door of the car, she thanked the veteran for his service to their country. He also thanked her again, with tears in his eyes. Wheeler returned to her car and couldn’t help but cry.
She shared her experience on Facebook, where she posted about how people tend to avoid people like that man, who sacrificed a lot for the freedom of their fellow men. She counted herself lucky to be in a position to help him.
Life would be a lot easier, if people can learn to stretch a helping hand to the needy, not just to war heroes but to everyone who needs help.