I have written too many times about how no good deed goes unpunished. I am referring to the stories of children wanting to do good, either by their families, or for a charitable organization, only to have some official from the government come in and shut them down. The stories are many, with Health Department officials shutting down many a kid’s lemonade stand; however I am specifically referring to Justin Peterson and Nathan Duszynski. The only thing that these two young men wanted was to lend a hand, but those wants were quickly ended by government officials and non-compete city ordinances. Obviously I felt so utterly cheesed by their stories that I had to write about them. You hear, or read enough about stories like theirs and you have to begin to wonder if there is any point in trying to help at all. I mean why should we if we are only going to get into trouble for being a Good Samaritan.
Well, thank God for the innocence of childhood, because they honestly see the world through a different lens than any adult. I am happy to write about on such generous gentleman, at the wise age of 8 years old. His name is Wyatt Erber, from Edwardsville Illinois, and he did what few adults thought he could, or would do.
Mr. Erber entered into a scavenger hunt that was being hosted by the First Clover Leaf Bank of Edwardsville, with his eye on the $1000 grand prize. Most 8 years olds would plan to blow that money on video games, toys, well anything that 8 years olds think are cool, I know I would have at that age; but not Wyatt.
Wyatt wanted to win this money for his neighbor’s daughter, Cara Kielty, who was diagnosed with leukemia and has to undergo chemotherapy. He told his parents that is what he was going to do, and he told his neighbors. They all thought it was a kind gesture, but they didn’t think that (1) he would win, and (2) if he did win they didn’t think that he would actually follow through with the giving away of the prize. This wasn’t because of any real lack of faith in Wyatt as a young man; rather it was because he is 8 years old after all.
So, imagine the pleasant surprise that Trisha and Jim Kielty, Mr. Erber’s neighbors, when they received a phone call from Wyatt telling them that he had won and wanted to follow through with his promise. Imagine the surprise of the bank that sponsored the scavenger hunt when they heard about the magnanimous gesture by an 8 years old. Imagine the surprise and pride in their son by Wyatt’s parents. The story doesn’t just end there though. Upon hearing about Wyatt’s unselfish act a total stranger from Canada wrote him a letter of gratitude, and included $100 bill. What did Wyatt do with that money? He gave it to Cara Kielty too.
The world needs more Wyatt Erbers, Justin Petersons, and Nathan Duszynskis – though they don’t always have to be young men, or young women for that matter; people of all ages should aspire to be less selfish, and more selfless. If these young men are examples of what our future looks like, then I’d have to say that our future looks pretty bright.