Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

The Power Of Compassion: Why This Man Hired The Stranger Who Stole From Him.

Never underestimate the power of an apology.

In Waipahu, Hawaii, a surveillance camera caught 33-year-old Travis Sueyoshi committing theft at a construction site. Adding insult to injury, this was not his first offense there; he had also stolen approximately $10,000 in tools between two visits a month prior.

John Paul Cates, the owner of TSW Fabrication, was understandably upset about the theft.

“We work hard for our stuff,” he said. “It’s a family business.”

But then the unexpected happened, and everything changed! Overcome by his own remorse, Travis showed up at the construction site just three days after the theft.

“I felt wrong for what I did,” he said later. Not only that, but he also apologized for his behavior and offered to make it right.

“He said, ‘I’ll work it off. I’ll do whatever,'” John recalled. “Somewhere in that conversation the moment changed. I was looking at him and I was like, ‘No, I don’t want you to work it off. I’m going to hire you.'”

And that’s exactly what John did!

Two weeks later, Travis had arrived every day at 7 a.m. sharp – even though he is homeless and doesn’t have a car. His responsibilities include maintaining the cleanliness of the site, but it seems he has also been trying his hand at other skills, including building a pair wooden shelves.

“We really want him to grow with us,” John said. “And we really want to find a place for him to lay his head at night. A legitimate place.”

John is even hopeful that someday Travis will become a steel worker by trade, and Travis is right there with him.

“For my future, part of me hopes I last long with them, and I become one of these guys on the roof,” Travis said.

Hawaii News Now / John Paul Cates

The future is wide open to Travis now, proving that an act of compassion can change more than just a moment – it can change a whole life!

Share this story to inspire more stunning moments of kindness.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.