26983_000_042Based on an experience of the author’s son“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
“Mom! Mom! They’re selling ice cream after school this week!” Wade jumped into the car with excitement in his voice. “Could I take a dollar from my bank and buy one tomorrow? Please?”
Mom laughed as Wade bounced on the backseat of the minivan. “You decide how to use the money in your spending bank,” she said. “If you want to use it for ice cream, you go right ahead.”
“All right!” Wade cried. As soon as they arrived home, he ran to his room, removed a dollar from his spending bank, and carefully zipped it into his backpack pocket.
After school the next day, Wade went to the front hall where the student council helpers sat at a table. Pictures of each kind of ice-cream bar were taped to the table. What to choose? It was hard to decide between the chocolate bar, the orange bar, the nutty cone, the red rocket, and the vanilla ice cream covered with bits of candy bar. He finally chose the nutty cone and opened it up.
On his way out to the car, he went to the music room to pick up his instrument so he could practice at home. His music teacher, Mr. Nolan, was straightening chairs and music stands.
“Wade, how nice of you to get me ice cream!” he joked, reaching toward the cone. “Just what I could use after a long day.”
Wade laughed. “I bought this one for me,” he said.
Mr. Nolan made a silly sad face. “Oh, too bad,” he sighed. Then he laughed. “Enjoy your ice cream!”
Wade waved good-bye to him and skipped out to the car. “I got ice cream, Mom!”
He told her about Mr. Nolan and his silly face. “Maybe he really would like some ice cream,” Wade thought. “Mom,” he said, “could I use another dollar to buy Mr. Nolan ice cream tomorrow?”
“It’s your money, Wade,” said Mom with a smile.
As soon as he got home, Wade ran to his room again. He pulled another dollar from his bank and again put it into his backpack pocket. “What kind of face will Mr. Nolan make when I hand him the ice cream?” Wade wondered. He could hardly wait to see.
As soon as class ended the next day, Wade quickly gathered his books and walked down the hall to the ice-cream table. Today he didn’t stop to think about which flavor to buy. Mr. Nolan had seemed to think the nutty cone looked good. “I’ll take one cone,” Wade said.
He didn’t open it this time but zipped down the hall toward the music room. Sure enough, Mr. Nolan was there straightening chairs again. “Oh, you brought me more ice cream!” he said.
This time Wade walked right up to Mr. Nolan. “Yep, I did!” he announced and handed Mr. Nolan the cone.
Mr. Nolan didn’t make a silly face at all. Instead, he looked very surprised.
“Is this really for me?” he asked.
“Yep,” Wade said.
“How much do I owe you?” Mr. Nolan asked.
“Oh, nothing,” Wade said. “I got it for you.”
“Why, thank you very much,” Mr. Nolan said with a smile.
Wade felt wonderful from the tips of his sneakers to the top of his head. He couldn’t contain the grin on his face.
“You’re welcome,” he called as he grabbed his instrument and trotted out to the car where his mother was waiting. He was still smiling as he opened the door.
“How did it go?” Mom asked.
“Great!” Wade said. Then he thought for a second. “You know what, Mom? I think getting ice cream for Mr. Nolan was even better than getting it for myself!”
“How great a thing is charity, whether it be expressed through the giving of one’s substance … or as an expression of kindness and appreciation.” President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Mormon Should Mean ‘More Good,’” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 54.