I was on my way to a restaurant when I saw an old man waiting in a long line to buy a loaf of bread and a few minutes later the man who was ahead of him in the line gave up his place for this elderly man. Just witnessing this scene made me feel so secure and satisfied that it builds a sense of happiness. Recently a research said that, if we do well to others we end up feeling happier. Jamie-Lynne Knighten, was in a similar situation when she was in the line shopping for her monthly rations she realized that she had left her debit card at home. As luck would have it, her credit card too was blocked when she tried to call the bank the phone battery gave up too. Mathew Jackson a fitness instructor uncomplainingly stood behind her. Knighten recalls that encounter with Jackson and says, “The gentleman behind me quietly said, ‘May I take care of your groceries?’… I stuttered and said, ‘Oh, how sweet, but no thank you.’”
But he insisted and all Jackson asked in return for paying her bills was a promise that she too would do this for someone else. Knighten says “Through my tears, I asked his name and where he worked before we parted ways.” After a couple of days she decided to tell Mathew’s boss about how kind her employee had been to her the day she was in real trouble. She wrote in her Facebook post, “I hear crying on the other end… His boss informed me that this incredible human being was in a tragic car accident and passed away. Not even 24 hours after meeting him. Gone. Just like that. How? Why? I don’t understand.”
Mathew’s mother, LeeAnn Johnson Krymow, who got in touch with Knighten through Mathew’s boss, saw the latter’s Facebook post and responded saying, “Hearing what my son did for a complete stranger just one day before he tragically died has been such a gift. My precious boy loved people… I am completely devastated and broken, but I also have absolute hope that I will see him again.”
Knighten wants “Matthew’s Legacy” to live on forever; she has also created a Facebook and Twitter account in his memory. The good news is that Mathew’s ideologies are working—when his sister, brother-in-law and two kids were reaching for his memorial, they stopped to grab a bite and before they knew someone had already paid their bill.
Knighten says, “Matthew’s best friend told me she was helping the women in front of her at the grocery store bag her groceries and went to pay for them, too, in Matthew’s honor, but the clerk said, ‘An angel paid for these groceries.’ It turned out the man behind her read about Matthew’s story and wanted to pay it forward. She then burst out in tears and told him that Matthew was her best friend.”