In a world that’s dominated by anonymous internet conversations, we sometimes need a face-to-face encounter to remind us that a little kindness and understanding can go a long way.
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In 2017, John and Randi Jo Amt of Indianapolis, Indiana, discovered that their plumbing had failed, flooding their home and rendering it uninhabitable for over a week. The family took up temporary residence in a hotel as they waited for the mess to be resolved.
Anyone who’s ever attempted to live in a small hotel room with three little kids will understand that this was an extremely trying period in the Amts’ lives, but when a group of teenagers from the Eureka, Kansas, Future Farmers of America (FFA) group moved in on their floor, things went from bad to worse.
The teens whooped and hollered in the hallways until late into the evening, and Randi Jo admits that she wanted to go out and give them a piece of her mind for waking up her kids after a long day.
“We were getting back to the hotel we are living in fairly late after the hour-long round trip drive to boy scouts and basketball practice,” Randi Jo wrote on Facebook. “We put the kids to bed as quickly as possible and teenagers were loud in the hallway for awhile. I was frustrated, but wanted to wait to talk to them when I could tell them about our situation to see if they could show compassion rather than become angry at the lady next door.”
The next day when she saw their doors open in the hall, she knocked on the closest door and spoke to the young man who answered.
“I said, ‘I know you’re in town for the FFA convention and we want you to have fun while you’re here, but you were a little loud last night and you woke up my kids and I was just hoping you could be a little quieter tonight,’”Randi Jo explained.
The exhausted mother also told the young man the reason why she and her family were staying in the hotel.
“The young man who answered the door told me that he was very sorry about what we are going through. Before I went to bed, I noticed a note that someone had slipped under our door. I opened the note to find money. In a world where some people sit behind screens and become angry on social media, this young man restored my faith that the next generation can make eye contact and show compassion to the person right in front of him.”
The teens included $40 with the handwritten note.
The next morning, the Amt family thanked the teenagers and learned that the day before something fortuitous had happened. At the FFA conference, the students had listened to a speech about kindness and paying it forward.
“They passed all these cards out to all the kids and said, ‘Go find somebody in need and do something for them and give them the card so they can pay it forward,’”John recalls.
That very night, the students found that opportunity to be kind, and they took it.
The Amt family was blown away by the timing of these events, feeling it was meant to be that they should meet this group of teens at just the right time. It just goes to show you that there is always an act of kindness to be done, just as long as you’re looking for one.
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