'You owe me nothing, I have been there too'
Thanks to modern-day technology, the following e-mail from the US just landed on my desk.
Please bask in its wisdom.
"One day a man saw an old lady stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.
"Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.
"He said: 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'
"Well, all she had was a flat tyre, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car and changed the tyre. She told him that she was from St Louis and could not thank him enough. Bryan just smiled.
"The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need.
"He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added: 'And think of me'.
"He waited until she started her car and drove off.
"A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite. It was a dingy-looking restaurant. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase.
"The lady noticed the waitress was pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. Then she remembered Bryan.
"After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a $100 bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her, but the old lady had slipped right out the door.
"Then she noticed something written on the napkin. There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.' Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.
"That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard...
"She gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low: 'Everything's going to be alright. I love you, Bryan Anderson'."