Home Lifestyle COLUMN: A return on investment

COLUMN: A return on investment

Charlie Melvin

People always say, “What goes around, comes around” — and that was exactly the case for my grandmother recently.

My grandmother, who is 91 years old, decided to sit down on an old built-in table on her front porch. The table broke, causing my grandmother to fall, and she sat there on top of that old broken table for more than 50 minutes alone and without a phone.

To make things worse, she was at our family’s trailer at the beach, meaning that the usual allies were nowhere to be found — or so one might think.

Several years ago, a stranger knocked on the door of my grandparents’ trailer. Upon opening the door, my grandfather found a man that he had never met and could very reasonably expect to never see again. The man’s car had broken down nearby and he needed to call his wife.

Today, this occurrence would be trivial, but this was before cellphones so the man was at the mercy of his transient neighbors. Being the kind and caring man that my grandfather was, he let the man use his phone. Shortly after, the man’s wife arrived and they parted ways, likely never expecting to meet again.


Fast forward to 2022. As my grandmother lay there on her front porch away from her phone, a man walking down the road just happened to see some movement and noticed that she was lying there struggling.

You’ve probably guessed exactly who that random man was: It was the gentleman who, years ago, knocked on a stranger’s door and was allowed to use the phone to call for help. He picked up my grandmother, helped her to her phone, and saw that my family was there to take care of her before continuing with his walk. Just before leaving, he shared the story of that evening years ago when her husband had shown him some kindness.

My grandfather died 13 years ago, yet he is still taking care of my grandmother through the kindness that he showed one stranger one night more than a decade ago.

You may never know what the future has in store for you or your loved ones, but maybe if you throw enough kindness out ahead of you, you may just run into it again someday when you most need it and least expect it.

Charlie Melvin in co-publisher of the Richmond Observer.

Previous articleFree turkey hunting webinars offered in February
Next articleWatkins, educator and community leader in Richmond County, dies at 100