No. 964



The late Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998), also known as “Dr. Love,” was a wonderful human being. He was an American author, lecturer and professor, and for many years was employed in the Special Education department at the University of Southern California.
I once heard him speak in Chicago back in the early 1970s. On this day you could just feel the love in that meeting room. God gives us all some special gift, and He blessed Dr. Buscaglia with the rare ability to bring out the best in others, and there is no greater gift any human being can have than to love one another. Sometimes all it takes is a gently reminder.
He once talked about a contest he was asked to judge, and the purpose was to find the most caring child. There were a number of great entries, but the one that just knocked my socks off was sent in as an eyewitness account from New York City on a cold day in December. I am indebted to my friend J.L. Abbott of Mountain Home, Arkansas, for sharing this with us.
The account begins: “Some years ago, a little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the young boy and said, ‘My, but you are in such deep thought staring in that window!’
“‘I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,’ was the boy’s reply. The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could get her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.
“She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet and dried them with the towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, ‘no doubt, you will be more comfortable now.’ As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand and, looking up into her face with tears in his eyes, asked her: ‘Are you God’s wife?’”
At this point, rather than having me elaborate on this story, I felt it would be good to share a couple more entries as they each express the heart of a child who cares. As parents and grandparents there is no better lesson we can teach those we truly care about than to have compassion and love for others. Here was the winner: A 4-year-old child was the next-door neighbor of an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed into his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to this neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
And here is one many parents will relate to: Whenever I am disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he had set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her with pride and excitement, “Guess what Mom,” he shouted, and then said these words that will remain a lesson to me … “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.”
This lesson says to me that our children or grandchildren may not always come in first, but we should always be proud of them just because of who they are. To God be the Glory.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)