I try to teach my children to do the right thing.
Little Brother is doing pretty well. He’ll hold the door for lines of people–sometimes it seems we may never get inside where we’re going because he’s too busy holding the door for the people behind us.
So today he and I were at the store, and there were two cash registers right next to each other. While I was paying, I happened to look down and saw that the customer who had just been beside me had dropped some money on the floor. She was almost out the door with her purchases at that point.
“Wait!” I called after her. Then I instructed my son, “Little Brother, please pick up that money and give it to the lady who dropped it. She’s by the door.”
The lady made some joke to the cashier who had helped her about being so rich that she could afford to leave her money on the floor in the store. But she didn’t even bother to thank Little Brother for helping her out.
But the man with an empty shopping cart who was on his way to return the cart to the store, who stopped to hold the door for me and Little Brother, was more than polite when Little Brother took the door handle and told him to go in first with his cart. I think Little Brother was thanked five times.
Oh well. Part of teaching your children to do the right thing is teaching them to do the right thing without expecting a thank-you in return. After all, in the Gospel story, only one came back.