A poor young boy who washed car windows at a mall’s parking lot met a stranger who offered him a lot of money for washing his car. The next day, the lad was shocked to see his face on the mall’s giant screen with a note near it.
Jack Ruben, 17, never had a rosy childhood like his peers. Responsibilities fell hard on his shoulders after his father died several years ago. His mother, Rebecca, was often sick due to overworking in a leather factory in town.
Jack stopped dreaming about going to college and started working many petty gigs to support his family. The small town he lived in had minimal opportunities for aspiring graduates.
But Jack hadn’t graduated yet, and his chances of making a brighter career were slim. That’s when he decided to do something on his own instead of remaining idle…
“$50!” Rebecca exclaimed. “From where did you get so much money?”
The mother was baffled when Jack returned home and gave her the money to buy medicines. Considering the boy’s age and the bit of infamy the town had, she hoped he hadn’t done anything wrong.
“I found a new job, and this is my daily wage, mom,” Jack said. He also assured her that his daily turnover would be different each day. “Tomorrow, I might make less or even more… my job is such!”
Rebecca had dreamed of sending her son to college. But their poverty forbade them from dreaming big. Although Jack was determined to continue his studies, he needed a job to earn and save money. Unfortunately, nobody hired him because he was a dropout.
But one day, Jack decided to set aside his dreams for a while and take up any job that came his way. He was walking across a mall on a scorching afternoon when he saw several cars in the parking lot. An idea instantly struck his mind.
Jack marched to the car park with a bucket of water and a rag cloth. He approached random people and offered them a window cleaning service for their cars.
“I assure you to finish it in five minutes, and before you’re done shopping!” he said.
“Oh, no…What’s going on? Why is my photo up there?”
Every day, Jack went to the mall’s parking area and washed windows for customers who shopped there. He did not have any stipulated wage for his services and was satisfied with whatever people gave him.
Sometimes, he would even wash the cars if customers requested it. He would get paid fairly well, but not everyone often returned his favor with kindness and decent pay. For instance, Jack had even met people who took his poverty for granted.
One day, Jack washed a car for a man who paid him a mere $1 for his service. The poor boy couldn’t resist the money because he knew how each $1 would one day help him build his empire.
Jack eventually became a regular car cleaning service provider at the parking lot, returning home daily with the money he made. He gave half his wage to his mother and saved the other half for college.
He did this for a few months, and one day, he returned to the car park and was stunned to see many cars there. “Today, I can buy my sister the new school shoes she wanted!” he exclaimed. As many as 30 cars paraded the parking area. More cars meant more money, so Jack was thrilled.
Just as he walked to the parking lot, a car sped past him and pulled over mere feet away. A man slid down the windows and called out to Jack.
“Hey, you! Come here….” he said.
Jack walked over to the man. “Yes, sir! What may I do for you? Window washing or the whole car?”
The man looked at Jack from top to toe. “Why are you washing cars here? You look young, and don’t you go to college or school?”
The bit of smile Jack had faded too quick. He told the man that he had been washing car windows for customers that visited the mall. “My mother is sick, and I need money to buy food and medicines…I will surely go to college if I get a good job someday,” Jack said.
The boy’s words moved the rich man. He asked Jack to clean his windows and was impressed by his service.
“$50???” Jack exclaimed in shock when the man paid him. “No, sir…I can’t accept so much money for just washing the windows.”
The man was stunned by the boy’s modesty. “But you just said that you need money,” he said.
But Jack stood his ground, insisting he wouldn’t accept so much, so the man paid him $10 and asked him to pose in front of his car. Jack was bewildered, but he did as the man told, and the man took his picture.
The next day, Jack returned to the parking lot and was shocked. He saw the photo the man had taken the previous day flashing on the mall’s giant screen.
“Oh, no…What’s going on? Why is my photo up there?” he exclaimed in shock and hurried to the spot.
When Jack got there, he saw the same man he had encountered the previous day. He stood under the screen that read: “For sparkling clean car windows, contact our employee, Jack Ruben,” followed by the mall’s phone number.
Jack was stunned. He looked at the man and remained speechless for a while. Then the stranger approached him and introduced himself as Walter Perkins, the mall’s owner.
Jack was floored after hearing this. He couldn’t believe his ears and became teary-eyed as Mr. Perkins patted his shoulder.
“We’d like to hire you officially! Please bring the necessary documents to open a bank account for your salary!” Mr. Perkins said.
Jack was grateful and thanked the mall owner for his help. His life changed for good because of his modesty and selfless service.
A few months after saving enough money for college, Jack worked part-time at the mall and focused on his brighter future. He eventually realized that good deeds always return a reward in the most surprising ways!
What can we learn from this story?
Good deeds are always rewarding. When the rich man asked Jack why he needed money, he told him it was to support his low-income family. And when Jack refused to accept a huge wage for cleaning the man’s car windows, his modesty fetched him a reward from the rich man who was actually the mall’s owner.
You can achieve great things in life only if you are ready to face challenges. Jack had dreamed of going to college, but his family’s financial setback did not allow him to do it. He decided not to remain idle and worked any petty gig that came his way. His determination earned him a decently salaried position at the mall. With his earnings, Jack went to college and supported his family.
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