Chris, a wealthy self-made businessman, once met a young boy who asked for some spare change on the street. Instead of helping him, he scoffed at the boy and told him to get a job instead of begging.
Chris Moore built his business from the ground up, using his $500 million inheritance to build a multi-million dollar food company. He had everything people his age could ever dream of – he had a huge house, a nice collection of sports cars, and a thriving business.
One day, he passed by a poor boy named Alex. Alex came from a dysfunctional family, with a dad who couldn’t keep a job for more than a month, and a mother who abandoned their family years back. They barely had anything to eat in the shack they lived in, so he would sometimes beg on the street.
“Do you have some extra money, kind sir?” Alex asked Chris as he walked by. Instead of helping the boy, Chris laughed at him.
“Stop being lazy and get to work, kid. You need to earn money the hard way, not by begging on the street,” he shook his head before walking away.
Alex was hurt but motivated to prove the mean stranger wrong. He was just a young boy dealt with the wrong cards in life. He was not lazy, he just didn’t have the same opportunities many kids his age had.
Years passed, and Chris’ food business grew into a successful franchise company. He met a beautiful woman, and together they shared three children.
However, he couldn’t have it all. He struggled with his health, as he had heart problems that he refused to cure with medicine. Instead, he thought these problems would just pass with time.
He had to learn the hard way that life didn’t work that way when he and his family attended a good friend’s birthday party. While they were there, Chris was on his second glass of whisky when he suddenly felt nauseous.
“Honey, I’m not feeling too well…” he told his wife, before suddenly collapsing to the floor. The birthday celebrant quickly helped Chris’ shocked wife call an ambulance that swiftly took him to the hospital.
When they got there, they ran a couple of tests where it was revealed he needed an emergency surgery to fix a blocked artery. He spent a gruesome eight hours at the operating room with a team of six doctors.
It was a long day for the doctors, who just finished a six-hour surgery before attending to Chris. However, they were the best surgeons the hospital had, and they knew how to operate on cases like Chris the most.
A couple of days later, Chris made a full recovery. He and his family decided to celebrate by eating out at one of the most expensive fine dining restaurants in the city along with a few of their friends.
While they were there, Chris still refused to admit that medicine could have prevented him from needing emergency surgery. He also told his friends that the doctors were lucky he was “such a good patient.”
As he and his friends were talking, he noticed a man in his 30s staring at him from one of the nearby tables. Chris grew paranoid, and couldn’t help but approach the man.
“Can I help you? Why do you keep looking at me?” Chris asked angrily.
The man smiled. “Well, my colleagues and I here find it amusing that we chose to celebrate in the same place! I’m Dr. Alex Greenwood, and with me is the team that successfully operated on you a few days ago,” he said, gesturing to the people with him at his table.
Chris was stunned and suddenly felt his cheeks turn hot for aggressively approaching the doctor who saved his life. “By the way, we already met 18 years ago. You were right! It’s definitely a lot better to earn than to beg. This time, however, you didn’t ask to be helped. It was simply my duty to save your life,” Alex added.
Chris felt even more ashamed and quickly started apologizing. “I am so sorry, Alex. I’ve been so arrogant for most of my life, and I can’t believe I’ve only realized it now,” he started. “Thank you for teaching me an important lesson, Alex. And thank you to all of you for saving my life. My family and I are eternally grateful,” he said, bowing his head to show his sincerity.
Alex assured Chris that everything was well between them. They shared a meaningful conversation with one another before Chris went back to enjoy the rest of the night with his family.
While Chris waited for his car from the valet, he was surprised to see Alex about to ride an old Chevrolet sedan. He couldn’t help but ask the successful doctor why his car was so worn down.
“You’re a successful surgeon. Why do you keep such a beat-up car?” he asked.
“Well, I don’t want to beg for a new car, I’ll just earn it myself. I have to pay off many important things before indulging in luxuries like a brand new car,” he shrugged, smiling as he got in.
Alex chose to keep an old car with him instead of buying a new one. | Photo: Pexels
Chris was stunned at how humble the doctor was. He realized they were not as different as he thought they were. The same way he built his business from the ground up, Alex had to work his way through medical school until he became a licensed doctor.
He also reflected on the very first time they met 18 years ago when he refused to give Alex some spare change. He realized the young boy was probably having a difficult time with his family and was hungry.
Moreso, he could only imagine how difficult it was for Alex to see him on the surgery table, knowing he was saving the life of the guy who turned him away years ago. At that moment, Chris decided to do something he was not able to do for Alex all those years.
One day, Alex walked outside of his house to take his car to work. However, there was a brand new Chevrolet Tahoe blocking his driveway.
“Who would park in front of someone else’s driveway?” he muttered to himself as he walked towards the car. It was then that he noticed a note on the windshield: “You didn’t beg for a new car, but I wanted to gift it to you at my own free will. Thank you!”
What can we learn from this story?
We should be kind to all those we meet. Chris mocked Alex the first time they met, but Alex ended up saving his life years later.
Always stay humble no matter how successful you become. Chris thought that having a multi-million dollar business put him higher than Alex. In the end, life decided to humble him by letting Alex save his life.