“I Almost Messed Up Big Time.” 5-Yr-Old’s Generosity To Homeless Man Helps Dad Overcome His Pride. “Giving In Love And Sincerity Will Often Bless Others More Than We Think.”

a man named justice smith smiling as he stands in front of a river and fist bumps his 5-year-old son named justus mateo

Like most parents, Justice Smith works hard to teach his kids the importance of helping others.


Still, like most parents, he’s bound to make mistakes every once in a while. Luckily, though, he stopped himself from making one when his son insisted that they give money to a homeless man. It’s not that Justice didn’t want to do it —he was feeling insecure that all they had to give was the 30 cents his 5-year-old had.

But just as he was about to tell him that they should wait until they had more money, Justice caught himself. And in doing so, this beautiful moment happened.

I almost messed up big time. As our newly turned 5-year-old and I were coming back from the dentist, we saw a homeless man in the median.  I wanted to give him money, but didn't have any cash on me so I just nodded my head and waved to him with a smile.  Our son #JustusMateo noticed the man as well. 
And then it happened... Uncoached he insisted that I give the man the 30 cents he had in his pocket.  It's almost as if he heard my thoughts and responded out loud...  
I was more than happy he wanted to do this with joy (it means he's been watching), BUT honestly I was hesitant. 
I didn't want to give this man who clearly needed all the help he could get, just 30 cents. My own pride and thoughts of the homeless individual's unknown reaction to receiving just two coins was standing in the way.  
I quickly realized that I was the only problem in this situation and that the traffic light would turn green at any second.  
I then thought to myself, "Dude get over it. This is what we've been teaching him and now that he wants to give everything he has to offer in this moment, you're going to let your personal self-centeredness ruin a possibly life-long, great memory and solid teaching moment?  Leading by example is what we've been teaching him, so now let him lead. Let him give what he can to this man..."
😳 Listen, I almost told my son, "Let's wait to give until we at least have one dollar."
I almost told our son by my inaction that what he had wasn't enough...
I almost showed him that what he sees as a good thing and is in fact a good thing, isn't good enough to make a difference in someone's life.
I almost taught him that pride was more important than helping another human in need...
Thank God I quickly snapped out of that foolishness.
I rolled down my window, hoping that this individual wouldn't be offended or hurt that I only gave him the 30 cents. I then said,  "I'm sorry man, I don't have any cash on me, but my son back here wants to give  you everything he has right now.  He just turned 5!" 
And my God...
The smile on that man's face lit UP the intersection and he said to Justus, "God bless you little man! Thank you so much!"

We’re so proud of 5-year-old Justus Mateo for recognizing that it’s always important to do what we can to help others, no matter how small our contribution may seem. With just one small act of kindness, he set in motion a ripple effect that’s still going!

Don’t forget to share this story to keep spreading word of Justus’ kindness.

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