Kindness is a virtue that sometimes appears when you least expect it. When people go out of their way to help another without expecting compensation, it’s just that much more meaningful.
That’s what Helen Bell, a cashier and a mother, from Johnson City in Tennessee, found out one August evening.
When Johnny knocked on Helen Bell’s door on Aug. 2, 2019, he was trying to make a little bit of extra money. He offered to mow her lawn for a set price. However, Helen, as she later shared in her Facebook post, wasn’t able to afford the service at that time.
She asked Johnny to return the following week when she would be in a better financial position. So the woman went back inside her house and to her regular routine. She wasn’t expecting anything more to come out of that polite and brief interaction.
However, within two hours, she started hearing a loud buzzing noise outside her door. To her surprise, it was Johnny with a lawnmower, doing the job she turned him away from. Confused, Helen ran out the door and approached the man telling him to stop what he was doing.
Instead, he simply “shook his head no,” as she recounted in her post. He then explained that he had noticed her small children playing in the yard and was concerned about the possibility of concealed snakes in the tall grass attacking the little ones. For that reason, he decided to proceed with mowing her lawn even if she asked him not to.
Even more baffled, the mother reiterated what she had said before about being unable to pay him. So she then asked him again to cease cutting her grass, to which the man told her that he wasn’t expecting any money from her. He then explained that he was a grandfather himself and would like to think that “someone would look after them in the same way.”
Upon hearing this, Helen became emotional and felt her eyes tearing up. She then went and hugged the man. They had a meaningful conversation where they confessed to each other about some of the hardships they faced in their respective lives.
After this, he said to her that “the news doesn’t report the black neighbor helping out the white neighbor because it isn’t good for the network to make money,” but that’s what happened on that day.
Touched by his gesture, the woman “told him that he has a good heart,” and then expressed her yearning for “more people on earth […] like him.” They then embraced again. Following that, Helen went back into her house, leaving Johnny to finish off the work he had started. By that point, it was already dark outside, but he remained and continued mowing her lawn.
EVERYONE. This man came into my yard a couple hours ago and offered to cut my grassfor a certain price. I didn’t have…
Helen ended her touching Facebook post by saying, “I am so grateful to have him as a new friend,” and she also stated that “I hope he gets the recognition he deserves.”
And Johnny’s gesture did not go unnoticed. The original post went viral and received 53,000 comments and was also shared by nearly 320,000 people!
This delightful story shows how people can still do nice things for each other purely as a heartfelt gesture. Johnny went to Helen’s home in the hope of making some spare cash. But even if she couldn’t offer him the compensation, he still decided to help out. The only reason he did it was because he felt worried about her children being at risk, and he couldn’t just walk away.