Give More Than You Get.

Real Estate Agent with Scott Owens Limited

I thought I would share this inspirational story with the AR community in honour of "Hump Day". I did not write it and do not know who did; it has been floating around cyber space for a few years.  Whether or not you have seen it before, I hope that you enjoy...

I was at the local corner store, buying some early potatoes; I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprizing a basket of freshly picked green peas. 

I paid for my potatoes, but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.  Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me. 

'Hello Barry, how are you today?' 

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas.  They sure look good.' 

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?' 

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.' 

'Good. Anything I can help you with?' 

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.' 

'Would you like take some home?' asked Mr. Miller. 

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay foem with.' 

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?' 

'All I got's my prize marble here.' 

'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller. 

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.' 

'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked. 

'Not zackley but almost.' 

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble', Mr. Miller told the boy. 

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.' 

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.   With a smile said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances.  Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. 

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or a orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.' 

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. 

A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles, even though several years went by. 

Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died; they were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. 

Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer what words of comfort we could. 

Ahead of us in line were three young men. 

One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking.  They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.  Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. 

Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes. 

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller.  I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. 

With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.  'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them.   Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size...they came to pay their debt.' 

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho '. 

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles. 

The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.  Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath. 

Comments (8)

Stephen A. Cunningham
LandQwest Commercial - Fort Myers, FL

Thank you, great post. 



Sep 24, 2008 01:18 AM
Shirley Walker
Core Group Realty - Boise, ID

Now is the perfect time to reach out to each other.  There are alot of people in trouble.  Random acts of kindness.

Sep 24, 2008 01:19 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Thanks for sharing this story, Scott.  Many such acts of kindness go unnoticed.  People do things for one another that people will never be aware of...even those that have received the kindness.  I have known some people who have anonymously dropped money off to a home in an unmarked envelope, or food left on a doorstep without a note.  These people help others with no expectation of thanks.  These are true heroes.

Sep 24, 2008 01:26 AM
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

This is a great story and a reminder that our actions speak much louder than our words.  Those who do things purely from the heart are not interested in recognition for their acts; they are more interested in those they help. 

Sep 24, 2008 03:02 AM
Kristina Pratt
St. Louis' Illinois Suburbs - RE/MAX Preferred Partners - Edwardsville, IL

This is a great post, Scott.  We all need to slow down now and then remember our legacy.

Sep 24, 2008 06:51 AM
Bubba Fife
Complete Property Maintenance - Nashville, TN

Great post Scott... We are always remembered by the good that we do.

Sep 24, 2008 12:40 PM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Thanks for sharing something positive.  We must remember how we can change someones day

Sep 25, 2008 04:10 AM
Scott Owens
Scott Owens Limited - Halifax, NS

Stephen, Kristina, Bubba and Allen - Thanks for reading, and for commenting.

Shirley and Jon - I agree that we all have to try to help where we can...and I prefer to do it "quietly" too. 

Laura - You know amazing people then!  There are not enough people like that in this world... which is sad because it takes so little effort to do so much good.

Thanks to everyone for for reading.

Oct 23, 2008 02:21 AM