A photo of the Babette’s Furniture Store that is located in Leesburg, Florida.
Kindness Knows No Boundaries
By Richard Mabey Jr.
The story that I am about to tell you is pretty incredible. For me, it is as if the odds are a million to one. All I can say is that this is, in fact, a true story. To me, it shows the far reaching effect of the positive power of simple kindness.
In my five years of working as a Gate Guard in one of Florida’s gated communities, I can testify that rudeness is at all-time high!
We live in a time when rudeness seems to be the new vogue. No, I am not being negative. I am being realistic. Very realistic. For the past five years, I have worked as a Gate Guard in a gated community in Central Florida. Sadly, the number of people who choose to curse me out, simply because I am doing my job is absolutely mind boggling. In fact, it brings great sadness to my heart.
Man times, people will say curse words at me in my job as a Gate Guard. Why? Simply because I am doing my job!
Often times people will have one of those stickers on their car that read something like, “My Grandson Is Barely Getting By At Elmwood Elementary School.” And, so then I know that they are grandparents. So, when they choose to say a few of those bad four-letter words at me, I simply say to them, “do your grandchildren know that you say all these bad words.” Guess what? That generally quiets them down.
So, with that in mind, you can see that I now have a new found appreciation for random acts of kindness. And, the story that I am about to tell you is a classic example that defines the spirit of kindness. As I look back on that moment in time, it still brings a sense of warmth to my heart.
My cousin, Lois, lives in the small town of White Haven, Pennsylvania. As if the odds were a million to one, the couple that lives a few houses down from Lois, once lived in the same gated community in Florida that I presently live in. Well, this past summer my mom, my sister and I took a ride to New Jersey, where we are originally from. One of the relatives whom we visited, during our stay, was our dear cousin Lois.
Well, as fate would have it, Ken and Nancy are thinking about moving back to Central Florida. My cousin, Lois, had mentioned to Ken and Nancy that her cousins are presently living in Central Florida. So, Ken and Nancy asked Lois if we would stop in and say hello to them, when we visited her. Lois told them that she didn’t see any problem with that.
Well, lo and behold, when we visited Lois, she asked us if we wanted to take a few minutes and visit Ken and Nancy. We all said that that sounded like a great idea. Well, we stopped in to visit Ken and Nancy and had coffee, tea and cookies with them.
Ken’s desk was of the highest quality. The kind of desk that old Doc Adams from Gunsmoke would be proud of.
Ken insisted on showing my mom, my sister and I, his home. Downstairs Ken has this lovely rec-room set up. In the one corner of his finished basement, he has a nice office set up. When Ken showed me his desk, I complimented him on it. Truly, it was a magnificent desk. The kind of desk that Doc Adams on Gunsmoke, would be proud of. Plain and simple, it was a gorgeous desk.
Ken thanked me for my compliment, then added, “yea, I bought this at that big furniture store, down by you, in Leesburg. The store sets on a hill.”
“Babettes?” I simply asked.
“Yea, that’s it. I tell ya’, I loved this desk so much, I moved it up here, when we left Florida,” Ken replied.
Once again, I complimented Ken on the beauty of his desk.
Now here is where it is pretty amazing. This is as fine as an example of the far reaching, positive effect of kindness, that you could ever imagine.
“I tell you one thing, Richard,” Ken said to me. “The fellows that delivered my desk here, were very careful not to scratch it up. They had a tight fit down the hallway in my home in Florida.”
He then went on to describe the two gentlemen who delivered the desk, to his home in Central Florida.
Without missing a beat, I asked Ken, “were their names Fat Tony and André?”
“Yea, come to think of it, I’m sure that was their names!” Ken looked at me in amazement.
My desk, bookcase and bedroom set were most carefully delivered by two of the kindest delivery men on planet earth! Namely Fat Tony and André.
Well, I went on to tell Ken that Fat Tony and André had delivered my desk, bookcase and bedroom set to my home, a few years ago. And, I fully agreed with Ken that they took extra special care not to nick or scratch the furniture when they delivered it.
Now, dear readers, here’s the million dollar question! When Ken and Nancy move back down to Central Florida, where do you think they are going to go to buy new furniture? You got it, Babettes!
I worked all my life in newspapers, corporate public relations, and advertising agencies. I can attest to this. Word of mouth recommendation trumps a full-color, full-page newspaper ad every time! No exceptions!
And here’s where the story gets even more amazing! Maybe even more amazing than Stan Lee’s famous Spider-Man could ever be!
My blog is now getting 400 to 500 clicks every day. A big percentage of my regular readers live in Central Florida. How far reaching is that?
Sure Fat Tony and André could have done a rush job of delivering my furniture. They could have done a rush job of delivering Ken and Nancy’s furniture, when they lived in Central Florida. But they chose to do the right thing! They chose to take their time, to be careful, going around tight corners and the narrow hallways of my home. They chose to be kind people!
Oh, and I know I’ll be getting feedback on this if I don’t mention this. Fat Tony goes by that name. He even has the name “Fat Tony” embroidered on his work shirt. Believe me, this is not meant to be an insult to this man. I have too much respect for this gentleman, to ever insult him.
And I just feel that it would be only right to mention this. This endorsement for Babette’s Furniture Store is without any remuneration for me. None. This endorsement for Babette’s is the result of one thing and one thing only. The immense kindness, the high pride of doing a good job, that Fat Tony and André take in doing their job.
Acts of kindness are like stones thrown into a big pond. The ripple effect can be incredibly far reaching!