We live in a world where many people are capable of great evil. One need look no further than the recent Arizona shooting for proof of that. But as anyone who has ever spent any time with an infant knows, people are born good. It’s the world that turns them bad. I first appreciated this as a 30-something bachelor in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Like all of us, I was devastated. Like many of us, I lost a friend in the towers that day. And about the only thing that could make me feel better in the aftermath of the tragedy was spending time with my niece and nephew who were both quite young at the time. They made me realize that even in the face of evil, much goodness will always exist.
A nine-year boy I’ve never met just did the same thing.
Yesterday the Huffington Post reported the heartwarming story of Isaac Saldana’s goodness which compelled him to do whatever he could for the Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “Me and my brother were about to go walk the dog when we saw them saying on TV that a little girl and Gabrielle Giffords got shot,” he told HuffPost. “I felt really bad about Gabrielle being in the hospital and getting shot, so I just wanted to help her.”
So what did he do? Gathered up some toys as well as a bracelet his dad — a U.S. Marine — had purchased for him after one of his deployments and sold the items for a whopping $2.85. He put the windfall in an envelope along with a get-well card and sent it to the congresswoman’s hospital room.
And though I can’t say for certain, I’d wager to guess that his gesture meant as much if not more to Giffords family than any of the countless gestures they’ve received thus far. In donating $2.85 to Gabrielle Giffords, Isaac Saldana gave far more than he’ll ever realize.
It’s easy to forget the pureness children possess in their hearts, the ones that, unlike ours, aren’t yet jaded by a world that is often cold and cruel. As we parent, it’s our job to try to safeguard those hearts and make sure that they always contain as much goodness and innocence as possible.
And I want to thank Isaac Saldana for reminding me of that fact.