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Jim Hardin: Becoming Richer Through Kind Gestures

Jim Hardin is a contributing writer for Blue Ribbon News after 30 total years of experience working in the industry as a reporter.

(ROCKWALL, TX — September 29, 2017) I’m a rich man, and I haven’t even had a visit from Michael Anthony.

A few people will remember Michael Anthony. He was the executive secretary for John Beresford Tipton Jr., in “The Millionaire” television series that was a weekly feature for Marcus, Agnes, Jimmy and Carole Sue Hardin from 1955 to 1960. That was one of the TV shows we could watch when the antenna was perfectly positioned.

Everyday people were given a $1 million cashier’s check by Tipton, the mysterious benefactor. Anthony delivered checks to the recipients.

As a kid, I dreamed of Anthony visiting the Hardin home. We were good, everyday people, but he never made that million-dollar visit to Tatum, Texas. Even today, there are times that I wish somebody would leave a million dollars in my mailbox. It could happen. I’m sure you’ve had the same wish. Right? Yes, I thought so.

In my seasoned years, I’m learning more and more what being rich is all about. It’s not all about dollars. Good health for me and my loved ones top my list. The sweetest sound in the Hardin home of today is to hear wife Becky singing. That means she’s a happy girl and feeling well. If she’s happy, this man is happy—and rich.

As I’m writing, I’m thinking about how thankful we are for daughter, son-in-law, son, grandson, mother, sister, mother-in-law and so many other family members. I pray for prosperity in every part of their life. I’m a journalist and I know lots of words, but there is no way I can describe how important their health and happiness are to me.

Today, I feel called to share some very simple treasures of life. “Simple” may not be the right word, but I believe you will understand. I’m talking about some of those treasures that I—and possibly others– take for granted.

I’m thinking about lunch yesterday and the little boy I saw at the Family Dollar store in Fate two days ago. These people, I believe, illustrate the value of relationships with friends, and the importance of strangers who make you smile.

Becky and I had lunch with Adrian and Sandra, friends of ours since 1984. Adrian asked me to say grace before our meal. I believe I completed two sentences and I choked up. I am very emotional and I was so overcome that I couldn’t finish the prayer. God understood and so did Becky, Adrian and Sandra.

Quite simply, the depth, strength and value of our relationship with Adrian and Sandra really touched me. They have been with us at every turn in our life. They have been by our side in every valley, and they have been on the mountaintops with us.

I was blindsided—so to speak—with emotion. It didn’t embarrass me. Actually, it was a rich moment because I suddenly and unexpectedly had the deepest love and appreciation for our dear friends. Adrian and Sandra knew that before lunch, but now I believe they have a renewed, clearer, deeper understanding of the value and importance of our relationship.

Becky and I have strong relationships with others and we are so thankful for them all—longtime friends and new friends. That moment with Adrian and Sandra inspired me to do a better job of building relationships, strengthening relationships and letting our friends know how rich we are because they are a vital part of our lives.

I’ll shift now from tears to smiles. Now, more than ever, I’m thankful for every moment that a stranger can make me smile.  And this little story is about a little boy who is about 9 years old.

Two days ago, I was walking toward the entrance of the Family Dollar store. Walking in front of me was a woman and the boy. He opened the door for her. She entered the store and he followed. When he got inside, he looked back and saw me. He returned to the door and opened it for me.

I thanked him and made some comment about his kind gesture. I then went to the woman, told her what her son had done and said other words of appreciation. They smiled. I smiled.

I know what some people may be thinking. So what? How simple can that be, a little boy opened a door for an old man. Well, three people smiled and had a brief, and pleasant, conversation. And let me just say that here I am two days later, and I’m smiling.

Just how important is that smile? I will try to answer that by asking more questions? What’s going on in our world, nation and state? What bad news do we hear every day? What intense situations do we have in our lives with finances, health and other issues?

I think most of us are overburdened with intense emotions. For me, this little boy delivered me from some intense moments in my own life, yes, for a few minutes. But I still smile every time I think of this little boy’s very simple act. And he has inspired me to follow his lead.

I want to give more, and I want to be mindful that it doesn’t cost me one penny to smile, open the door for someone or perform some other very simple, kind gesture. I will be richer. The recipient will be richer. What a great return on my investment.

By Blue Ribbon News contributing writer Jim Hardin.

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